BRENDAN RODGERS has ordered his Celtic players to concentrate fully on getting the job done in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday.
The champions are preparing for the encounter against Graeme Murty’s Ibrox side amid talk of unprecedented back-to-back trebles being within touching distance and a place in Parkhead folklore.
However, the Hoops boss, who is unbeaten in nine previous meetings with the team’s Glasgow neighbours, insisted: “The history is not weighing on us.
“We just have to do our job. We set our targets and goals and one of them is to win the league. The Scottish Cup is another.
“We wanted to not just defend the trophy, but to win it again.
“That doesn’t cloud our thinking, though. We still come in and enjoy our work. I tend not to think about the other stuff too much.
“If you do, and got wrapped up in the whole history or the expectation, then you put yourself in a pressure trap. You don’t need that. There’s enough pressure in football.
“I am here to win, but I am here to get the team playing well enough to win and, hopefully, that will continue in all of the games until the end of the season.”
Rodgers also admitted he couldn’t care less if there is a strong challenge from the other side of the city.
He added: “It doesn’t make any difference to me. I came up here and the standard I wanted to make was for Celtic. Rangers (sic), as a competitor in the league, of course, it pushes you, but no more so than what Hibs or Hearts will do.
“You look at these teams, and Aberdeen, clubs with great histories. I think the league is very competitive, but, at Celtic, we try to set our own standard and that’s to be the best that we can be.”
Read more from Celtic Quick News …
- LEGEND BACKS GORDON
- ‘WHY WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR HAMPDEN LOSS’
- WARBURTON, CAIXINHA AND NOW MURTY? RODGERS AIMS FOR HAMPDEN
- ‘SPLIT IS HERE TO STAY,’ SPFL CHIEF
- ‘I’M NOT SORRY I RILED LUCKY BRENDAN,’ BAZZA
- DONNELLY DISMISSES IBROX CLAIMS
- ‘WHY WE RESPECT EVERY OPPONENT,’ RODGERS
Catch up with Pau67’s Blog here …