BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he was proud of his players as they overcame the challenge of spirited St Mirren in Paisley this afternoon.

Strikes from Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda fired the holders into the Scottish Cup quarter-final where they will meet Livingston at Parkhead next month.

However, Rodgers’ 100 per cent success rate in the competition was at stake as well as so much more for the champions as they faced a potential banana skin against Stephen Robinson’s side.

GREEN FOR GO…captain Callum McGRegor and Paulo Bernardo  acknowledge the travelling fans after Celtic’s 2-0 win over St Mirren in Paisley.

However, the Hoops came through unscathed and the Irishman was quick to hail the efforts of his troops who have been under fire in recent weeks.

Rodgers said: “I think we managed the game well in the second-half. It was always going to be a tricky game. St Mirren were in really good form.

“Obviously, the narrative around our team is that we’re not together. But you can’t come and win fairly comfortably like that if you’re not. I thought the guys did really, really well. I was very pleased for them and proud of them.

“It’s such a tricky tie with the form St Mirren have been in. They’re really high on confidence and got their better players back as well from the Asian Cup. Defensively, we stood up to it really, really well.”
The beaming manager, speaking to Viaplay Sports, added: “We had some moments in the first-half. We just need to figure out one or two ways better to play through their mid-block.
HAIL, HAIL…Joe Hart and Kyogo Furuhashi lead the Celtic parade at the end of the Paisley triumph.
“The message to the players was when you’re successful, and this club has been for a long period, it doesn’t take much for people to want to bring you down.

“For us, it’s about keeping that calmness. We know we haven’t been playing consistently to the level, but we’ll get there. I can’t complain about the players.

“The guys coming in, adapting and giving us absolutely everything.”
Rodgers and his players will turn their focus back to the quest for the club’s twelfth title in 13 years when Kilmarnock are the visitors to the east end of Glasgow on Saturday.
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