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11 Brendan Rodgers Celtic presser takeaways as boss talks 50/50 Rangers fan split and one star who 'will feature more next season'

Brendan Rodgers admits he's more than ready for this weekend's Scottish Cup Final between his Celtic and rivals Rangers on Saturday.

The Hoops boss met the gathered press this afternoon to discuss the coming fixture that would see him potentially lift the double in his first season back at Parkhead. It's been a difficult season at times, as Rodgers has explained in recent weeks, but the opportunity to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet is not to be taken lightly.

It's Philippe Clement's troops in between Celts and another trophy and Rodgers won't accept any complacency whatsoever. The manage acknowledges his side have had the edge this season and in previous finals but the Northern Irishman has batted away questions on "arrogance".

He's also excited to see the first 50/50 ticket split of the season for the fanbase at the national stadium after the ticket row between Glasgow's big two.

Here, Football Scotland picks out some key takeaways from Rodgers' presser.

Celtic having psychological advantage

No, you can never have that arrogance. It’s not how we work. We have humility in how we work, we respect every opponent we play whether that’s Rangers or Raith Rovers or whoever, and we have to prepare for the game. We come into the game in the ideal condition. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We’ve been on fire the last few months, playing really well. There were lots of challenges for us at the beginning of the season - playing every three or four days, when we had some really important players missing. That was a challenge. I think over the course, as the season has built up into the pressure months, the players have been absolutely superb in how they’ve dealt with that. So we arrive having won the league in a really, really good way and playing well. We come into this one in really good condition.

Winning two trophies

For me personally clearly the satisfaction would suffice. But it’s more about what you give other people. For the supporters it’s everything - they live their life for Celtic - and especially a Celtic-Rangers game. So to be able to deliver that for them would be great. For the players, it would be a reward for how their discipline has been this season. Discipline is one of the key elements of football, not just on the pitch but off the pitch. We stay very focused, we stay true to our game and how we want to work. The players have got their rewards for that as the season has gone on. So for me, yeah it would add another trophy. But it’s always been more about the satisfaction other people get from it.

Squad injuries or fitness issues

Good condition. We have Welshy (Stephen Welsh) with his shoulder but he has trained in the last few days. Everyone else has come through all the preparation. Fitness wise they are all in a good place.

Hampden relationship

Everything suits us here. You come to Hampden and it is a big pitch and in the main, it is always in good condition. It is fast and we like to play a fast attacking game. When I first came here I said if you want to win and be multiple winners then you need to enjoy playing at Hampden. When we have arrived here we know that the surface should suit our game and we have a chance to go and demonstrate our football.

50/50 fan split excitement

Yes. I am really looking forward to that and next season when we will have a small percentage of supporters at the games. It always adds to the occasion and it's what makes this game special. Even though the atmospheres have been incredible in both stadiums these games are better when both sets of supporters are there. I think it should make for a wonderful spectacle and hopefully a very good game and that is what we are preparing for.

James Forrest Scotland call

I am really pleased for him. I spoke to him this morning and he has had to get his money back on the holiday that he had booked. I am delighted for him. What I love about the Scottish boys up here - James and Callum - and all the other guys - in all my time up here in Scotland working with these players, I have been in other dressing rooms with other nationalities and you get one or two who want to pull themselves out of international squads. Every one of these guys is so proud to play for Scotland. They all want to go. I can see the smile on James's face and it is absolutely brilliant. It is great for Scotland as well. You have someone of that talent and quality who has hit form at the right time for Celtic and Scotland. I am delighted for him and Steve (Clarke) knows what he will get from him as I saw what he brought in my first spell here when he was absolutely outstanding for me at club level in the national team scoring hat-tricks. He has not featured in the past number of years as much as he would have liked but what he has always shown is that he has that quality that is required certainly at the international level and I am sure he will able to help Scotland. I am delighted for him and the other Celtic boys.

Did he feel Forrest could still hit the level?

It’s an interesting one. I looked back over the last few years and James was an important member of the squad, but maybe was ‘t the starter he once was. If you look at Liel Ababa and Daizen Maeda and Jota there were the players that were in front of him. He still had a very important part to play, even though the game time might not be so much and then we start this season again where he has been on the periphery at the beginning because of those players. Then Liel moved on and Daizen was injured and I always felt James was a top-class player. As the season went on and as I saw him more in training, I then had to make a decision and the decision was that for the team and for the club he had to play. I know what I am going to get from James. I get that high-level quality, he can look after the ball and create and score a goal and any deficiencies he has in his game now because he is older, we have to try to deal with. I can’t sit here and say that at the beginning of the season, I knew he would do what he is doing now, but I knew his talent. I am so happy he has been able to demonstrate that at the perfect time.

Can Celtic relax knowing they have winners in changing room?

I wouldn’t say relax. You still have to be super focused, there is no guarantee. What you understand as a manager is that you know what you’re going to get. In pressure situations that is invaluable. Callum is a top operator, and James has been over many years as well. His trophy haul is absolutely incredible for this club, as is Callum’s. I would definitely say I have an assurance on what I’ll get from them and of course, I know I can put my faith in them.

Tony Ralston moving forward

He will feature more for me next season. Part of this season was that Ali (Johnston) was the first choice. Tony came in and played some games and Ali had been out for a while and when he came back I needed to get him games to get him up to speed. That meant Tony hadn’t played so much. I know he is always ready because if he is not playing in games his training is the game. So he trains every day and his standard, his quality, his mentality is like that of a game. That’s why I can put him in against St Mirren in the last game of the season and he is running up in the 90th minute making a cross to score the winning goal. Why? Because he trains himself. He is a wonderful example of someone who treats his training like it’s a game so that when he comes in he is game-ready. I know Scotland has a couple of injuries, but even with those players available Tony is a great option for them and has played at the highest level in Champions League games. He is a winner, he has that mentality and he would never let Scotland down ever.

Striker dilemma

Exactly that. I wanted two players who have top-end qualities that I can use in different types of games. Adam has been a real catalyst for us since he has come in, there is no question about it. He has elevated the team as much as he has elevated Kyogo’s game. He now has someone there who is a big talent who is only going to get better. Just being able to put him in to start or bring him in and give Kyogo a rest is great to have. I just know that whichever one I play they are ready.’

VAR in action

I think anything where it’s a one-off game means that the favourite tag doesn’t come into it because you just never know what will happen. You can lose a player, something can happen in the game. Our focus is on looking to bring our A game. If we do that then we have a fantastic chance of winning. In a one-off final anything can happen.