juin 10, 2024

Brendan Rodgers: No arrogance from Celtic ahead of Old Firm Scottish Cup final | Football News

3 min read

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is assured about how his players will deal
with Saturday’s historic cup final but insists there is no arrogance despite their recent record against Rangers.

The champions are looking to complete a double in the 150th anniversary Scottish Cup final, when the game pits Celtic and Rangers against each other 22 years after the last Old Firm final in the competition.

Celtic took 10 points from Rangers in their latest title-winning campaign and have only suffered one defeat against their city rivals in the previous 11 derbies – an Ibrox league loss after last season’s title was already clinched.

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Celtic are unbeaten against Rangers in the Premiership this season

Rodgers’ own record against Rangers over two spells in charge is equally dominant – he has tasted 13 wins and just one defeat in 17 encounters.

But he will not travel to Hampden on Saturday with the feeling that he will not lose.

« You can never have that arrogance, » he said. « It’s not how we work. We have a humility in how we work. We respect every opponent that we play, whether it’s Rangers or Raith, or whoever. We have to prepare for the game. »

Rodgers, who has a full squad to choose from, added: « We come into the game in the ideal condition, I don’t think there is any doubt that we have been on fire the last few months.

Celtic celebrate with the cinch Premiership Trophy
Celtic celebrate with the Premiership Trophy

« There were lots of challenges at the beginning of the season, playing every three or four days when really important players are missing.

« But as the season has built up and into the pressure moments, the players have been absolutely superb in how they dealt with that. So we arrive having won the league in a really, really good way, playing well, so we come into it in real good condition. »

Rodgers spoke of his pride in how his players have dealt with pressure situations, such as their 5-0 win at Kilmarnock to clinch the title.

However, his players’ experience and impressive run of form does not mean he can relax going into Saturday’s game.

« I would say you still have to be super focused, » he added. « There’s no guarantee, but what you can understand as a manager, you know what you are going to get. That, in pressure situations, is invaluable.

« That’s why the likes of Callum (McGregor) is a top operator, why James (Forrest) has been over so many years as well. Their trophy haul is absolutely incredible.

« I have an assurance of what I will get from them and I can put my faith in them. »

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 20: James Forrest celebrates after scoring to make it 2-1 Celtic during a Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Hampden Park, on April 20, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
James Forrest has been called up to the Scotland squad for Euro 2024

The scarcity of this fixture in Scottish Cup finals in recent years will add further fuel to the build-up, and the occasion itself will pit both sets of supporters against each other for the first time in a stadium this season.

Each league game has been played in front of home fans only ahead of a new guideline which will see about five per cent of tickets reserved for away supporters.

Rodgers is relishing the charged atmosphere.

« I am really looking forward to that and to next season whenever we at least have a small percentage of supporters in the games, because it always adds, » he said.

« It’s what makes this game. Even though there have been incredible atmospheres in both stadiums without supporters, the better combination is when both are there. »

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