BRENDAN RODGERS praised his side for their 5 star performance in the Scottish Cup 5th Round win over St Johnstone at a bItterly cold Celtic Park this afternoon.
A hat-trick for Man of the Match Scotty Sinclair, a 25 yarder into the postage stamp corner by skipper Scott Brown and a neat finish by James Forrest after a great run from Jonny Hayes gave Celtic a 5-0 win and means that the Celtic manager surpassed a winning cup run that was held by Walter Smith in the 1990s.
Speaking shortly after the match the Celtic manager was well satisfied with his side’s performance.
“I thought we were very good in the first 20 minutes,” Brendan said.
“We were quick in our passing, created chances and got the first goal. That was important, particularly against St Johnstone who defend well.
“After that we got a bit sloppy. They got an opportunity and Scott Bain had a good save. But in the second-half, we were excellent.
“It was a good performance and we’re through to the next round.”
The manager had particular praise for his captain, the hat-trick hero, the hugely impressive Oli Burke and Jonny Hayes who enjoyed his best day yet as a Celtic star.
“Scott Sinclair is one of the few players who can keep up with Oli Burke.
“That’s what he does, he’s a goal-scorer.
“Guys like Jonny Hayes, too, they aren’t playing as much, but he was great and he defended well.
That’s testament to how professional he is.”
The only negative today – apart from the cold – was the injury that Oli Burke picked up midway through the second half.
“Oli Burke took a knock to his ankle, but we’re hoping he’ll be okay,” Brendan said.
“He was absolutely fantastic today. Ntcham had a tightness in his hamstring, which he felt before the game. Jozo was feeling ill at half-time, but Kris comes in and does a great job.
Today was another good performance. Thursday is a big step for us in terms of quality, but I can’t complain, we’re into February having not conceded a goal.
“Valencia will be about confidence. We bring confidence into the game and we understand the opponent.”