BRENDAN RODGERS is zeroing in on a remarkable 10 in a row against Sevco Rangers at Hampden this afternoon.
The Celtic boss is eyeing a Scottish Cup Final meeting against Motherwell, yesterday’s 3-0 victors over Aberdeen, as the perfect way to bring down the curtain on another spectacular campaign.
Rodgers realises history is in the waiting with the Hoops on the verge of an unprecedented back-to-back treble – and revealed the fear of failure drives him on.
He is well prepared for today’s confrontation after nine games against the team’s Glasgow neighbours inside two seasons, winning seven and drawing two. Now he has targeted 10 unbeaten encounters against the Ibrox side.
He said: “Aye, there is a buzz. I’ve experienced it nine times now, but I have always tried to stay calm. If you let the mind wander too much…
“You have to try to control everything, but, of course, you are excited. Just the sense of being in the middle of it and able to affect it. So every game it gives you that buzz. It is a fantastic fixture.
“You can over-analyse it. You have got to make sure you don’t trap yourself, as well as the players, in to the pressure.
“It goes back to dealing with pressure. In this job, you can’t get away from it.
“It is always there, you can’t hide from it or pretend it is not there. Make no mistake, it is.
“You carry the responsibility for millions of supporters, your players, your club, your board. It is there. It is not going away.
“You have to filter it out, so you can concentrate on your job so that when you are under pressure you still think clearly.
“Not emotionally. That comes with experience, it comes with being in the situations and dealing with it.”
Rodgers has remained a controlled figure in the midst of battle against the Govan side, but his mask dropped somewhat when he went on a touchline dash as he celebrated Odsonne Edouard’s winner in the 3-2 win at Ibrox last month.
He said: “I tend to find myself wanting to run against Rangers – that’s probably just the supporter in me. Last time I pulled my calf!
“They are highly-charged games and the atmosphere on the day was brilliant.
“You have to say that when Rangers scored that first goal, anybody who was there would have said: ‘Bloody hell, what a game this is going to be’.
“So, for us to come through it with 10 men was really pleasing. But I wouldn’t say it’s my best win. Just different.”
Read more from Celtic Quick News …
- ‘WE’RE READY TO BE PUT ON THE SPOT’
- ‘NO SYMPATHY FOR MORELOS.’ ROBERTS
- CONFIRMED: DEMBELE LEADS ATTACK
- IN PICTURES: HOOPY HURDLE BROONY-STYLE
- ‘ALL CREDIT TO THE PLAYERS,’ RODGERS
*** Read the full match report Celtic v Sevco Rangers from Hampden in CQN.