STEPHEN WELSH insists the Celtic players possess the qualities and camaraderie to make this a memorable season for the club.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are potentially ten games away from a league and Cup double before the curtain comes down with the final whistle at the conclusion of the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden on May 25.

The holders are due to face Aberdeen in the semi-final on Saturday April 20 in their quest for a silverware crescendo to the Irishman’s return as manager in the summer.

There are eight Premiership hurdles to overcome and the champions are back on the hunt for points when the league restarts with a visit to Livingston on Sunday March 31, a week before the trip to Ibrox and then the top six split.

Welsh acknowledges the fate of the club lies with the players and their ability to overcome the challenges that will come thick and fast.

EURO STAR…Stephen Welsh and boss Brendan Rodgers after the 2-1 Champions League win over Feyenoord at Parkhead in December.

The former Scotland Under-21 international skipper admitted: “We have always believed in ourselves. That doesn’t change. We don’t listen to any outside noise.

“The only people who can control what happens are in the changing room.

“We don’t need favours. All we are thinking about is winning the next game. Can it still be a special season? Definitely. We’re still fighting for two trophies.

“We are in a Scottish Cup semi-final and we are very much looking forward to that when it comes.

“We are fighting on all fronts and it will take one big push from us. It is exciting to be involved.”

Welsh stepped in for the injured Liam Scales to play alongside the returning Cameron Carter-Vickers in the 3-1 victory over St Johnstone at Parkhead at the weekend.

The 24-year-old versatile back-four operator, who made his Hoops debut as a right-back in a 4-1 success over Hamilton Accies in February 2020, then teamed up with Tomoki Iwata in the 63rd minute when the former Spurs star was with drawn and Odin Holm taking the Japanese ace’s place in midfield.

JUST CHAMPION…Stephen Welsh and Joe Hart with the Premiership trophy last season.

Goals from Kyogo Furuhashi, Nicolas Kuhn and James Forrest made certain of the victory that nudged the Hoops a point ahead of Philippe Clement’s Ibrox side who saw their match against Dundee at Dens Park yesterday called off due to an unplayable pitch.

Welsh insists Scotland’s title kings, eyeing their 54th crown, have the know-how to cope with the pressurised run-in and, speaking to the Scottish Sun, continued: “We have experience in the team, as well.

“We were very successful in the last couple of seasons and the vast majority of the players are still here.

“We have got the experience of going and winning things, so, hopefully, we can also use that.

“That is massive. It is a mentality thing, as well, going into the last few games of the season.“Obviously, the gaffer was here before and was very successful first time around. He knows what it takes to do it, too.

“We are just taking it one game at a time. We’ve got a good break now and we can recover and get some good training in.”

Welsh added: “It needs a big push from everyone. Hopefully, we will get everyone back fit. We’ve a great squad of players.

“It is a good environment to be in every day and we are all just pushing each other to be the best we can as players and as a team.

“We train every day and we come out on a match day and give absolutely everything to the club to win and perform well.”

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