SCOTT BROWN admitted to mixed emotions after Celtic’s European exit against Barcelona at Parkhead in midweek.
The Hoops skipper said: “There’s a bit of frustration, but there’s a lot of pride, as well.
“There have been ups and downs, but it’s just the start of the gaffer’s era and we’re always improving.
“We’re now looking forward to next season and we need to try and be back, at least, in the group stages again. We didn’t have the best start, but we’ve kicked on after that with good performances.
“That’s what we need to try to do every year now, be in the Champions League season after season.
“Getting to this stage is great for us, but we want to try and push on as much as we can. We’re disappointed we’re not in Europe after Christmas, but we’ll be back.”
Brown also praised the contribution of 20-year-old Moussa Dembele, Brendan Rodgers’ first signing for the club from Fulham for £500,000 in the summer.
The 31-year-old dynamo said: “Moussa has scored some great goals for us and has won us games himself.
“Strikers miss chances and strikers score great goals. He’s a great player and he’s been fantastic all season. What a signing he is for half-a-million quid.”
Brown and his Hoops team-mates are now focusing on the Betfred League Cup Final against Aberdeen at Hampden on Sunday.
He added: “The Final is a chance to put down a marker. For the gaffer, it would be huge for him being a Celtic fan, coming to the club and getting us playing well.
“We now need to give something back to him.”