PAULO BERNARDO is hoping to maintain good habits from now until the end of the season.
The on-loan Portuguese playmaker is used to dealing with the strain that comes with playing for one of football giants where the pressure is relentless.
Celtic step back onto the silverware tightrope again in Paisley when the holders face St Mirren in the Scottish Cup encounter in tomorrow’s 2pm start.
The 22-year-old classy middle-of-the-park operator understands all about coping with stress levels and, looking forward to a quickfire return to the venue where the champions kicked off 2024 with a 3-0 win on January 2, is confident the Parkhead men will cope with everything that will come their way.
PAISLEY PATTERN…Paulo Bernardo joins in with celebrating team-mates Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi as Celtic ease to a 3-0 triumph over St Mirren last month.
They demonstrated that quality again in their 2-1 victory over Hibs at Easter Road in midweek when a stoppage-time penalty-kick from Adam Idah made certain of the points.
Bernardo said: “We are at Celtic, a big club like this, we have to win all the games we participate in. That happened at Benfica, too. All my youth teams at Benfica were like that.
“Benfica is a big club like Celtic, so I think they are quite similar clubs and the demands are to win all the games.
“We needed to win the game and a last-minute goal is always good. We had so much passion. Sometimes it has to be that way and we were very happy to win. We need confidence and it brings a little bit more to the team.
“Of course, we always need to improve our game. We need to improve in training and take that into games. We had a great time before the break and we have to get to that level again.
“Sometimes it happens, we have had some injuries, we had the break. We had a good rhythm before the break. I think we are doing quite well, we just need to make our opportunities count. Goals help.”
CUP THAT CHEERS…Paulo Bernardo lobs in Celtic’s first Scottish Cup goal of the season as he leaves Buckie Thistle keeper Stephen Knight helpless in the holders’ 5-0 romp at Parkhead.
Bernardo, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “We are doing some things well, some things we have to improve. We just have a little problem with scoring goals, because I think we need too many chances to score a goal and that’s causing an issue.
“With confidence, with playing more games, I think we are playing better each game. We just need to keep going.
“We have a long season, we have ups and downs, but we just need to stick together, the players, the coaches, the fans, and keep going.”
Bernardo’s temporary transfer expires at the end of May and there is a valuation of around the £6million mark on the player’s talents.
It will be decision time for Brendan Rodgers to see if the silky midfielder has a future in Scotland.
Until then, Bernardo is aiming to continue the winning habit at Parkhead with a twelfth title in 13 years up for grabs as well as a second successive Scottish Cup.