Thursday 18 October 2018

Rodgers insists complacency won't be issue as his Hoops smash record

St Johnstone 0 Celtic 4

Celtic Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game. Photo: PA Wire
Celtic Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game. Photo: PA Wire

Ronnie Eslpin

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers insisted his side won't take their foot off the gas after stretching their unbeaten domestic run to 63 matches and breaking their own British record.

The Hoops equalled the 62-match mark last week, previously achieved 100 years ago, with a draw at home to Kilmarnock but got back to winning ways, after a midweek Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich, with an easy victory.

Celtic's Mikael Lustig (right) and St Johnstone's Stefan Scougall battle for the ball. Photo: PA Wire
Celtic's Mikael Lustig (right) and St Johnstone's Stefan Scougall battle for the ball. Photo: PA Wire

Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Olivier Ntcham were all on target with Steven Anderson also scoring an own goal during Saturday's thrashing of St Johnstone to beak that record.

"It's fairly simple, it's something I mentioned when I first came in: we need to be allergic to it and that's something we have created to the 17th month of working together," Rodgers said. "I said it on the first day but it's something we have dedicated our lives to every single day, and that excellence of always looking to be better.

"So this won't affect them in any way. It's important that they celebrate it. Any high-performing teams in sport, and football in particular, it's important to celebrate what they have done. But they also know the levels we set every day.

Communicate

"The beauty is this is a group that likes each other. They communicate, they work hard. You saw on Saturday, on a difficult surface, how comfortable and technical they were in taking the ball in situations and working their way through the pitch, and scoring great goals. But complacency is something we have trained to avoid and it's my job as the leader to ensure that it doesn't come in."

Celtic's Moussa Dembele has a shot on goal. Photo: PA Wire
Celtic's Moussa Dembele has a shot on goal. Photo: PA Wire

Celtic beat the previous record they shared with Willie Maley's Celtic side who went 62 unbeaten between 1915 and 1917. During that time, Celtic won the league four times in a row and vital to that success was a unbeaten run of 62 matches between November 1915 and April 1917.

It was a 2-0 home win over Kilmarnock in front of 4,000 fans, thanks to goals by Joe Dodds and James McColl, which set the Parkhead club on their way. The run was halted with a 2-0 defeat, coincidentally at the hands of Kilmarnock, at Celtic Park, Glasgow.

Remarkably, Celtic played twice in one day during that sequence. On April 15, 1916, Celtic beat Raith Rovers 6-0 at Parkhead to take the title before travelling to Lanarkshire to beat Motherwell 3-1 at Fir Park.

Irish Independent

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