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RODGERS’ HAMPDEN HAT-TRICK AIM

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BRENDAN RODGERS is determined to enjoy a happy hat-trick in the Scottish Cup semi-final today.

The Celtic boss has taken the Hoops to Hampden twice this season – and been a winner on both occasions without a goal being conceded.

A late Moussa Dembele effort gave the champions a 1-0 League Cup semi-final win over today’s opponents Sevco Rangers and the French hitman was on target again with a penalty-kick as the Parkhead men lifted the silverware with a 3-0 triumph over Aberdeen in November.

Tom Rogic and James Forrest were the team’s other marksmen as Rodgers celebrated his first – and the club’s 100th – trophy victory.

The Irishman admitted: “I enjoy these occasions. I’ve been to Hampden twice now and in both games we performed well.

“We arrive into this game in a really good moment and we know what we want to achieve.

“Obviously, this is a game that we want to get through to take us a game closer to where we set out to be at the start of the season.

“We prepare the same, regardless of the opponent. When you’re fighting for titles and trophies, these games can take on a greater aspect, but the players have dealt with it throughout the season very well. 

“The motivation and commitment of the players is there and it’s the same idea this weekend.

“If we go and perform the way we know we can then we’ll give ourselves a great chance.

“If we can do that, then we hope to get the result.”

Rodgers added: “It’s been a calm week and we’re very focused. We know what the job is and the magnitude of the task.

“We’ll be there to fight for our lives, for however long it is, 90 minutes or 120 and we’ll hope that our performance level and qualities will shine through.

“You never know, sometimes a bit of luck can go against you or a wrong decision, but you can’t control that.

“From the very first day of the season, we’ve been ready and we’ll be ready for this game.”

 
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