Brendan Rodgers hopes Joe Hart ends career with another trophy

Brendan Rodgers says Celtic will be driven to ensure Joe Hart ends his glittering career with more silverware by defeating Rangers in Saturday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final.

The 37-year-old former England goalkeeper will hang up his gloves after this weekend’s Old Firm showdown at Hampden.

And Rodgers is hoping Hart can bow out on the ultimate high by adding one final honour to the array of trophies he has already won with Manchester City and the Hoops.

“I think that (motivation) will be there for Joe, there will certainly be an understanding of this being his last professional game,” Rodgers told Celtic TV.

“He’s been absolutely brilliant in his time here and we would all love to send him off into the sunset with another trophy to his collection and finish off what has been an absolutely incredible career.

“Joe is very focused. He’s won another league title and now he’s lasered in on helping the team win the Scottish Cup.”

Celtic go into Saturday’s showdown with their bitter rivals in buoyant mood after collecting the cinch Premiership trophy following last weekend’s home win over St Mirren.

Rodgers is confident his team will be able to maintain their focus as they bid to replicate the intensity of the performance they produced in their 5-0 victory at Kilmarnock last week.

“It was nice to celebrate at the weekend but now our focus is very much on the Scottish Cup final,” he said. “We’re preparing to bring a similar performance to what we got against Kilmarnock.

“We’ll have a really good preparation and we’re playing on a fantastic surface. It’s the last showpiece game of the season and we want to bring our best selves to that and look to finish what would be a fantastic season.

“Our intent going into every game is to win, cup game or not. There’s no second chances in a final and that’s our attitude. We arrive into it in really good form but that doesn’t mean anything.

“We still have to prepare thoroughly this week, look after all the details in the game and give the guys the best opportunity to be free to play the type of football that we want to play.”

Rodgers has no concerns about his players’ ability to rouse themselves for one final push on Saturday after their exertions to secure the league title.

“The players know it’s a part of the job here to go again,” he said. “We finished the season as champions, and deservedly so.

“I’m so proud of the players with how they’ve dealt with the circumstances and the pressure they were under in the last nine games or so and to come out with that record of eight wins and one draw – and the draw we should have won – it really shows you the focus and humility of the team.

“We’re in a final and finals are there to win. It might be unfair to ask them to go again after that (the title race) but thankfully after that they have a bit of a rest. Our focus is very much on our plan and preparation this week and getting ready for this special occasion.”