fbpx Skip to main content

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised his players’ mentality after they followed up their derby triumph with a dominant 3-0 win over St Mirren.

The cinch Premiership leaders maintained the eight-point advantage they opened up with Saturday’s victory over Rangers, thanks to a flying start which saw Daizen Maeda net inside 60 seconds and Matt O’Riley slot home his 10th goal of the season six minutes in.

St Mirren had Toyosi Olusanya sent off in first-half stoppage-time and had goalkeeper Zach Hemming to thank for keeping the score down after Greg Taylor volleyed home on the hour mark.

Rodgers said: “It can always be a tricky game mentally and physically after a Rangers game but I thought we dealt with it really well and we made the start we wanted to. It was good tempo, good speed, so that set us up well in the game.

“These games are so important and I think as we work together more the players understand more the mentality that is required and the demands and you can now see the standard of performance we have put in place. And then the results will come.

“The second half the only downside was we never took the chances we created but we were much better 11 v 10 than we were at the weekend.

“We spoke about that after Rangers. You have to really dominate possession and counter press and we did that really well in the second half.”

Celtic have won all four of their games over the festive period after losing consecutive league matches for the first time in a decade.

“I think you can see that it is getting better and improving,” Rodgers said.

“Those results against Kilmarnock and Hearts, it was about learning from those. I think you can see the difference in the team and how they are working.

“And sometimes you need that. To have success you need to have that bit of adversity. How the players have responded to that has been fantastic.

“Their mentality, their attitude, the speed, the tempo of the games is what we want as well with much more creativity. The second part of the season I am excited about.”

Olusanya was sent off after catching Joe Hart in the face with his studs with a high boot following a VAR review but the game already looked beyond St Mirren.

Manager Stephen Robinson said: “It was a long evening. You can’t start like that and win football matches. Effectively the game was dead after six minutes.

“The more you come out the more they can open you up, so the game plan goes out the window.

“Frustrating, because we spoke about getting done on our inside shoulders with Maeda’s runs, and for the third goal we also got done for dropping our runner.

“As well as Celtic showed a lot of quality, of course, we didn’t control that situation well enough.

“Then it’s compounded by the red card which makes it damage limitation whichever way you dress it up.”