CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that he was disappointed in the honest mistake that gave Hibs an unlikely second half life-line against the tired looking cup holders at a ten thousand short of capacity Hampden earlier today.
But first he expressed his delight in his team’s mental strength that has seen them reach 60 matches undefeated in domestic football.
“What’s really pleasing is the mentality,” the manager remarked.
“In this last year, last 16 months, they’ve written history at the club by winning three trophies in one season and obviously going unbeaten.
“But our mentality is to keep re-writing history and we’re only at the beginning of the cycle now.
Celtic fifth consecutive win at Hampden means that the Invincibles will be to face Motherwell or the comedy club in the final on 26 November.
“It’s another final. We can put it to bed now until that comes in November,” Brendan said.
“But just a big credit to the players because everything they put into the game and the focus after what is a really tough game in midweek, then they deserve nothing but credit.”
Rodgers acknowledged the role of his three substitutes today in making sure Hibs were defeated, despite the best efforts of the match officials.
“The impact of our subs was very, very good, what you’d want, come in and change the momentum of the game and I thought they did that,” he said.
“Dembele came in and finished it really well.
“He’s disappointed he didn’t get a third because he had a chance to make a hat-trick.
“But they’re all contributing, right the way throughout the squad.”
Rodgers recognised that the players were running with the empty light on.
“I think you can see that bit of fatigue in the players, right from the off,” he noted.
“I thought how they managed the game within that was superb, playing against a brilliant team.”
“We had good periods of possession in the game, we scored four goals.
As for the honest mistake, Brendan saw it as we did and called out the blundering referee Kevin Clancy.
“We’re disappointed with the penalty. I didn’t think it was a penalty at the time and when I look back on it,” Rodgers stated.
“But the players responded each time Hibs came back into it, they went and pushed that bit more.”