Don’t Worry, Be Happy: “This is when Celtic comes alive,” Brendan Rodgers

A delighted Brendan Rodgers praised his team for their second half performance against St Mirren this afternoon and the three Celtic goal-scorers predicted on The Celtic Star this morning (Reo Hatate, Kyogo and Adam Idah) all obliged by finding the back of the St Mirren net.

Reo Hatate of Celtic scores to give Celtic a 1-0 lead. Celtic v St Mirren, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, UK – 13 Apr 2024. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

The second half was as accomplished as the first 45 minutes was frustrating but Celtic got there in the end in the blustery conditions and opened a four point gap on theRangers ahead of their away games against Ross County in Dingwall and Dundee in midweek.

The Dens Park club secured their top six spot with a goal-less draw at Pittodrie and coupled with Motherwell’s stoppage time equaliser against Hibs meant that the top six is now finalised.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers gave his post-match thoughts to Celtic TV as usual after his side’s emphatic and well deserved 3-0 win over a St Mirren side that didn’t trouble Joe Hart all afternoon.

Celtic TV: What was your reaction to what in the end was a very good victory?

Brendan Rodgers: “It was a very good win. These games are always about the first goal. We got that at the beginning of the second half and everything started to flow from there. The connection and speed in the game and we looked very good in the second half.”

Celtic TV: The fans have gone away singing ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’, were you worried at any point in the first half that the wind was going to destroy any momentum or flow?

Brendan Rodgers: “Yes. To be fair it was more than the wind. We didn’t play quick enough and we didn’t move the ball or were accurate enough with our passing. The passing was too slow and we just didn’t quite connect the game.

“We talked about that at half-time and the need to make closer connections so we could play quickly. It was difficult for both sets of players and St Mirren’s defended well but we did not cause them enough problems in the first half with the speed of everything.

“We lost the ball too quickly in the final third but once we corrected that in the second half. I thought the players were excellent and we had a really good tempo in the game and we scored good goals and could have had a few others.”

Celtic TV: That good play started with a wonderful finish from Reo Hatate showing the quality he has, didn’t he?

Brendan Rodgers: “There was a really good combination and I spoke to the players at half-time about connecting more and getting the number eight into that 10 position. It was a great touch and finish from Reo. It is great to see him back and he has got a little bit more game time today and that was pleasing.

Celtic v St Mirren – Reo Hatate right celebrates after scoring his sides first goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday April 13, 2024. Photo Jane Barlow

“The second goal came from a brilliant cross from Alistair Johnston and the movement of Kyogo. It is what his game is all about. He made space for himself. In his first movement, he takes the defender the wrong way and then he is there to finish. We got to 2-0 again and the flow and the tempo of the game were good. We started to press on and push in and it was much better.”

Kyogo Furuhashi scores past Zach Hemming of St Mirren with a header to give Celtic a 2-0 lead. Celtic v St Mirren, Scottish Premiership, Celtic Park – 13 April 2024. Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

Celtic TV: Despite the fact you made many substitutions was it pleasing that you didn’t lose control or flow in the game?

Brendan Rodgers: “That was the key. We had mentioned to the players earlier that it was going to be important for us. We were going to make changes in the game and bring energy into it. I thought all the guys coming in did well. It was great for Cal to get back in and he looked more like himself taking and passing the ball and reading the game. It was very good.

Adam Idah heads the ball over Zach Hemming of St Mirren to give Celtic a 3-0 lead. Celtic v St Mirren, Scottish Premiership, Celtic Park, Glasgow, UK – 13 April 2024 Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

“It was nice for Luis Palma to come in and big Adam is a real weapon for us whether he starts or comes off the bench. His physicality is great for us except when he gets tripped up by a plastic bag! That was the only downside for him. He gets another goal and is contributing. All the subs did their bit and even Welshy (Stephen Welsh) came in and settled the game and played alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers comfortably and calmly.

“Overall it was a good performance in the end.”

Celtic TV: How excited are you to be going back to Hampden Park where you have enjoyed great success?

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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