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 ‘CUP SEMI-FINAL IS PRIORITY,’ ADMITS RODGERS…

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BRENDAN RODGERS revealed he has Sevco Rangers on the radar after last night’s 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle – only the third time in 31 games this season the champions have dropped points.

The Celtic boss admitted he rested players with the Scottish Cup semi-final on April 27 in mind.

Rodgers made five changes to the side which clinched the Premiership title against Hearts on Sunday.

Scotland internationals Scott Brown, Kieran Tierney, James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong were all allowed a break although Armstrong came on after the hour mark.

Scott Sinclair opened the scoring against the Firhill outfit early in the second-half, but after Ade Azeez levelled, the Hoops frontman had a penalty saved by Tomas Cerny.

Rodgers, pleased to see Tom Rogic return as a substitute for his first appearance this year after suffering an ankle injury, is now working towards the Hampden date with the Ibrox side as his men zero in on a domestic clean sweep.

He said: “After the weekend, our next peak is the semi-final. So, that’s what we are building towards.

“This is why I needed to make the changes. It might mean some players who are asked to play in the Rangers (sic) game, if they played on this occasion then were rested against Kilmarnock, they would maybe have got one game in 18 days.

“You’re always trying to gauge the momentum of your team and I thought this was the game to make the changes.

“But over the course of the next couple of games, the team will be pretty stable to give us that momentum to, hopefully, arrive in a peak condition for the semi-final.”

Rodgers added: “I thought it was probably a fair result in the end. I was actually really pleased, believe it or not.

 “We’ve come back from Sunday, how well we played, we clinched the title…so to come into this game and make a number of changes so players get game-time, and you are playing against the second form team in Scotland, along with Aberdeen.

“So, we knew it was going to be a difficult game for us.”

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