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RODGERS’ FINAL DAY OF RECKONING

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BRENDAN RODGERS has already forgotten the crucial 1-0 win over Rosenborg to focus on Sunday’s Betfred League Cup Final against Aberdeen.

The Hoops edged to within a point of qualifying for the last 32 of the Europa League following Scott Sinclair’s headed winner against the Norwegian champions in Trondheim, as CQN reported last night.

A draw against RB Salzburg at Parkhead on December 13 will be enough to see Rodgers’ men make certain of European football after the turn of the year.

The shift in emphasis, though, will turn to the domestic scene at the weekend as the Irishman zeroes in on his seventh piece of silverware since he arrived in Glasgow as Ronny Deila’s successor in May 2016.

Rodgers said: “We love playing at Hampden, the pitch suits us. It’s a big pitch and we couldn’t be going into the game in a better way.

“Going into a League Cup Final, I would say this is the best level of performance – probably because we have been together longer and won trophies.

“We will prepare for a tough game, of course, and our aim is to win. Our preparation starts straightaway.

“In the morning, the players will be in the pool and some of the others will be doing some work. That’s our first day of recovery, really.

“The staff will get together and finalise our preparation first thing in the morning, travel back and then Saturday we will just round it all up and get ready for the game.

“It’s something the players are used to. We are used to playing a lot of games and going deep in competitions and it’s nothing new.

“Every game is a big game for Celtic and, of course, it was big last night.

“But you know we want to win every game we play, so it’s my job to relax the mind and focus on our performance. It’s the same idea for the weekend.”

Back on the European front, RB Salzburg’s 1-0 win over RB Leipzig left the Bundesliga outfit on the six-point mark with the Hoops now on nine.

The best the big-spending Germans can achieve now is nine with a victory over Rosenborg in their last-day showdown.

However, Celtic will reach 10 with at least a draw against the Austrians in the east end of Glasgow in just under two weeks’ time.

Salzburg have already qualified with a 100 per cent record, but Rodgers’ determined side will be anxious to halt that run next month.

 
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