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Brendan Rodgers aiming for historic double Treble

by 23/02/2018 18:45:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Brendan Rodgers has set sights on a historic double Treble after Europa League 
  • Celtic were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday
  • They have to quickly focus on domestic matters with trip to Aberdeen on Sunday
  • Nine points clear, Celtic still have work to do to claim a seventh successive title

By John Mcgarry For The Scottish Daily Mail

Published: 18:45 EST, 23 February 2018 | Updated: 18:45 EST, 23 February 2018

Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on a historic double Treble to ease the pain of Celtic's meek European elimination.

The Parkhead club's hopes of winning a post-Christmas knock-out tie for the first time in 14 years were swept away by Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday.

Optimistic on the back of earning a deserved first-leg lead, Rodgers' players exited the Europa League without truly laying a glove on the Russians as Roberto Mancini's men progressed 3-1 on aggregate.

Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on a historic double Treble following Europa League exit
Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on a historic double Treble following Europa League exit

Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on a historic double Treble following Europa League exit

An eight-month European campaign now at an end, Celtic have to quickly focus on domestic matters with a trip to Aberdeen in the league on Sunday offering a chance to quickly get the midweek loss out of the system.

And Rodgers believes the prospect of becoming the first Scottish club in history to sweep the boards two years in a row is all the incentive his players need.

'That is a huge motivation for us,' he said. 'To be into February in all four competitions was a great achievement for us, I felt. It has been tough for us this year in terms of injuries and key players being out.

'We have a great opportunity now to go on and the next possibilities are the league and the cup. To do that would bring yet again a historical season for us.

'Our focus is now very much on that game on Sunday and we have other important games between now and the end of the season, it is a really exciting finish for us.

'It was a disappointment to go out but there are still lots of lessons learned.'

Celtic stayed overnight in Russia after Thursday's match before travelling back on Friday in order to maximise their rest ahead of the trip north.

Celtic were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday in the last-32 tie
Celtic were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday in the last-32 tie

Celtic were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday in the last-32 tie

Nine points clear at the top of the Premiership, Rodgers' side still have work to do to claim a seventh successive title but boast an enviable recent record against the side which finished runners-up to them in every competition last term.

Six victories on route to last season's Treble have already been added to by two more wins over the Dons this year and Rodgers takes comfort from the fact his side have shown a habit of responding to set-backs in such style.

'That is always important,' he added. 'I always try to be clear with the players in terms of where we can be better and where we can improve.

'The past is the past now. We will learn from that. You have to look forward and for us this is a really exciting finish to the season now and in the main we will have one game a week so the players will be super intense, super ready for all the games. Let's go and really attack this last part of the season and show our qualities.

'Now we have a clear run domestically. From June of last year we have been virtually playing every other week. The squad has had injuries. The players have shown great fight right through until this stage so now we have a clear run at it domestically and we will be looking to finish the season very strongly.'

Nine points clear at the top, Celtic still have work to do to claim a seventh successive title
Nine points clear at the top, Celtic still have work to do to claim a seventh successive title

Nine points clear at the top, Celtic still have work to do to claim a seventh successive title

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