Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says past experience means he won’t allows his players to party should they lift the Betfred Cup today for a seventh straight domestic honour.
Fixture timing – Celtic travel to Motherwell for a league match on Wednesday night – and the potential toll taken means any serious celebrations will be put on hold, with Rodgers admitting he is still rankled by the aftermath of their League Cup victory over today’s opponents, Aberdeen, two years ago.
“The problem we had that time was we won the League Cup final then we went a week later and were 2-0 down at half-time at Motherwell,” he said, acknowledging his side “came back and won 4-3”.
“We’ll get a period in January [during the winter break] where we can reflect on everything, if we need to, and enjoy it if we can. We’ll go, we want to win, and then we’ve got a game on Wednesday night, so the celebrations will be quiet if we win.”
Rodgers admitted that the party after the 2016 League Cup win had “absolutely” told him something, and that “absolutely” that something would never happen again. “I think the boys know me well enough now,” he said. “I treat them like adults, they are not kids with me. I treat them as men and we know when those little periods are. When you are playing so many games, your body is so important. You have to look after it. But let’s get the job done at the weekend and get another trophy.”
Rodgers will not dwell on whatever the outcome is at Hampden this afternoon because he says it is not in his make-up.
“What’s next, for some reason, that’s my next thought. So I know that after the game on Sunday, I’ll be flying out to speak to a player on Monday, so there won’t be any big celebration, or not, whatever way it is. We have to get to work the next day.”