BRENDAN RODGERS has urged his Celtic players to maintain the form that saw off Zenit St Petetsburg on Thursday night.
The champions take on St Johnstone in the east end of Glasgow tomorrow afternoon and the Hoops boss is determined to kick on from the most memorable European night of his Parkhead reign.
Asked if the 1-0 triumph over Zenit was the most satisfying so far, Rodgers answered: “Yes and I said that to the players.
“There have been some outstanding performances in my time here and Thursday was absolutely brilliant because I have seen growth from when I first came in.
“I have always talked about personality and to play with the bravery and a good tactical understanding of the game defensively.
“The crowd were also amazing and gave us that edge, but they also stayed very calm when we had the ball.
“There is a real cohesion between the stands and the pitch and that is very, very important.”
Rodgers is looking forward to Thursday’s Europa League second leg in Russia, but is also wary of the challenge posed by the Perth Saints this weekend.
He warned: “The players are not robots and they will have games where they are not at their best.
“We had a review after last week’s Partick Thistle game, as we always do.
“I wasn’t happy with our concentration in that game. We conceded goals.
“I know people will say we aren’t tested the same in domestic football, but, for me, it is very important our concentration is there for every single game.
“When we are concentrated and when it comes to the big games, we don’t tend to lose too many.
“Thursday is a vital game, but so is tomorrow and I have got players who are champing at the bit to play.
“We will be hungry to get the three points and it will be a stuffy game because St Johnstone are organised and make it difficult for you.
“Some of the boys will come in because others played on Thursday and we are now starting to get one or two back to fitness, the likes of Patrick Roberts and Tom Rogic.
“In in a few weeks’ time, that will give us a real strength and depth and quality going forward for the rest of the season.”