Brendan Rodgers savours moment as Celtic awarded league trophy

Rodgers promised himself time to enjoy his latest trophy success.

Brendan Rodgers made sure he savoured trophy day at Celtic Park after getting his hands on the cinch Premiership silverware again.

The champions rounded off their league campaign with a 3-2 win over St Mirren before Santa Claus delivered the trophy – six months after being booed while doing the half-time prize draw during a defeat by Hearts.

They will aim to get their hands on another trophy next weekend when they take on Rangers in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final, but Rodgers afforded himself the luxury of living in the moment.

When asked what he was thinking when he lifted the trophy he won in 2017 and 2018, Rodgers said: “Enjoy it. I think this is the beauty of coming back here. When I came here the first time I loved every second of it but I was so fixated with the next thing. Even on a day like today.

“So I promised myself that I was going to really enjoy this time however long I am here, and every moment and every special moment because they are not always going to be there.

“I really, really enjoyed that today, knowing that it was not going to affect the next thing. That’s what experience gives you. We have lots of time to get our preparation in.

“Today was a brilliant Celtic day. The sun was shining, Santa Claus gets his just rewards in the end, and it was just a really special day.”

Rodgers revealed he showed his players a “collage of negativity” to inspire them to prove the critics wrong after Celtic lost a seven-point lead to Rangers and then finished eight points clear.

He was also motivated to shape the sequel to his own Celtic story 11 months ago when he returned to Glasgow more than four years after leaving the club to join Leicester mid-season.

The 51-year-old is rebuilding bridges, not just with the wider Celtic support, but members of his own family.

The Northern Irishman said: “I saw it was here the first time and when I left it absolutely deflated family and friends and it was never the same for them.

“I have to say, it’s my professional life so I have to choose at times where I go.

“But I know coming back here, what it means to so many people, in terms of family. And now they can enjoy these great moments as well.

“Listen, Celtic very much is a family and I am just so happy that I can help make the lives of Celtic supporters happy throughout the world.

“That’s eight out of nine trophies that I have had during my time here and I hope and pray that I will keep adding to that and have as much success as I possibly can.

“I just didn’t want how I left, and the reaction to that, to be the big full stop on my Celtic story. Because this club means everything to me.

“Growing up, supporting it, understanding the history of the club and what it means to so many people. I didn’t want that to be the story. So I was really determined to come back, to have even more success this time around.”

St Mirren have also had a memorable season, clinching European qualification for the first time in 37 years.

They came close to finishing it in style, twice taking the lead through Mark O’Hara, but equalisers from Matt O’Riley and Kyogo Furuhashi allowed Luis Palma to net a late winner.

Manager Stephen Robinson said: “We were disappointed in the goals. That was the only disappointment of the day.

“But in terms of the performance, the character and the quality we showed to go toe to toe with a Celtic team that’s just won the league speaks volumes about how far we’ve come this season.”

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