Celtic reached an “important milestone” by beating Aberdeen in the League Cup final, says manager Brendan Rodgers.
The 3-0 win – thanks to goals from Tom Rogic, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele – gave Celtic their 100th major trophy, and Rodgers his first as manager.
The Northern Irishman said his players had been “really impressive” but they must now build on their success.
“It’s a winning club, that’s what the history of this club has been based on,” said the former Liverpool manager.
“It marks a milestone, the century of trophies and we’ve got to start off the next century of trophies. That will be important for us and the club.”
Celtic, unbeaten domestically this season, controlled most of the game, scoring twice in the first half through Rogic and Forrest.
Aberdeen rallied just after the interval, but their challenge ended when Anthony O’Connor conceded a penalty that Dembele converted.
“It’s a great night for the Celtic supporters to celebrate and we push for the next one,” said Rodgers.
“It’s six months and a week since I came in and we talked about what we wanted to achieve and how we wanted to do it and we’re well on our way to that.
“We’re trying to improve standards on and off the field. We’re shaping up the team to play in a certain style and that’s going very well.
“There are things we’ll analyse, what can we do better, how can we improve. Ultimately, the goal was to win the cup and thankfully we’ve won it.”
Rather than dwelling on his first trophy, Rodgers focused instead on the efforts of his players. He praised the performance and, in particular, the command of Scott Brown in midfield.
“I’ve a huge job to do here in terms of building on it and sustaining it,” he said. “It’s a great achievement.
“For the players, it’s something to show for the great work they’ve been doing. It’s great for the confidence and it sets us up for the rest of the season.
“If I’m to say anything on getting my own first trophy as Celtic manager, having Scott as the captain is a huge honour.
“He really dominated the game and collectively he pulls the team together on the field.”
Counterpart Derek McInnes urged his Aberdeen players to use the disappointment of the defeat as motivation to reach another cup final this season.
He felt some in his side did not perform to their full potential and insists that, although Celtic will grow stronger, they can still be defeated in a one-off match.
“There’s a lot of pain and not feeling good about ourselves,” McInnes said. “We were beaten by a better team.
“The difference is that, when we take them on in a cup final, we need everyone to be at their maximum.
“It’s important we try to pick ourselves up. We’re a team that can get to another final this season.
“This isn’t an end-of-season defeat. There’s so much more to come this season. We expect more of ourselves and people maybe expect more of us.
“It’s important that we stick together and recognise there’s plenty to play for. I don’t mind putting ourselves up there to be shot down.
“We were huge underdogs, but I still expected us to win and I still thought we would win the game.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38125123