Rodgers elated as Celtic take 39th step


Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says he can’t ask more of his side after they made it 39 domestic games unbeaten following a 3-1 win at home to Kilmarnock on Saturday.

The recently-crowned Scottish champions returned to winning ways at Celtic Park following two home draws as they claimed their 29th win from 32 league games to keep them on course for a record points haul.

Having already seen the Glasgow giants win the League Cup and Scottish Premiership this season, the former Liverpool manager could become only the third Celtic boss to land a domestic treble if he can also lift the Scottish Cup.

Celtic are also just eight games away from going the entire domestic season undefeated. 

But with matches against Aberdeen and Rangers still to come after the Scottish Premiership splits in two, the Celtic manager says he wouldn’t be too disappointed if they do eventually slip up.

“Not really. I’m very proud of what the team has achieved up until now,” Rodgers said.

“We want to keep developing each game.

“Up here of course in particular those last five games are tough games. When the split comes you’re obviously playing against the teams at the top end as well so that makes it even more difficult.

“But I can’t ask any more. I don’t think the team can give any more,” the Northern Irishman added.

Stuart Armstrong fired Celtic into a half-time lead before Jordan Jones equalised in the second half.

Scott Sinclair quickly restored Celtic’s advantage before James Forrest headed in to seal victory.

– ‘Outstanding’ –

“I think you see the quality of their football today. That charisma in how their playing and how they’re working and fighting and pressing — I can’t ask any more,” said Rodgers.

“I really enjoyed watching the team today and I thought collectively they were outstanding.

“In the main they showed everything I want from a team and played with that lovely little arrogance and charisma in the game.”

The 44-year-old former Swansea City, Reading and Watford manager celebrated with the Celtic fans after the victory and appeared to gesture ’10 ‘to them with his hands.

It looked to be a signal of intent from Rodgers to the Celtic support, who are desperate to see their club land a Scottish record of 10 league titles in a row to surpass the previous best of nine straight championships previously achieved by the Hoops in the 1960s and 70s and then equalled by arch-rivals Rangers in the 1990s.

But Rodgers, who signed a new four-year contract with the Parkhead club on Friday, made light of the gesture when asked about it after the match.

“I was just stretching my fingers,” Rodgers joked.

“It was a great day for us. Like I say, it’s been a fantastic week for us having won the league and having committed the next four years of my life here.

“It’s no hardship. It’s an incredible club to work for.

“But there’s much more to do here and much more to achieve. There’s a lot to do before 10 in a row is ever mentioned.

“The supporters are happy and they enjoy watching their team and I was applauding them on that.

“They’ve been singing about it since my first day. That’s their aim and it’s my job to try and help them achieve it.”

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