BRENDAN RODGERS is targeting a historic third successive William Hill Scottish Cup triumph as he prepares Celtic for the visit of St Johnstone in the last 16 on Sunday.
The Northern Irishman has not lost a domestic cup tie since he took over as Hoops boss in 2016 and is aiming for an unprecedented third successive treble.
To do that, he would need to make it three Scottish Cup final wins in a row for the first time in the club’s history.
“It is a big ambition because I’m here to win and win as many trophies as I possibly can,” said Rodgers, who has Olivier Ntcham, James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard back training again after injury and Kristoffer Ajer back from suspension.
“There have been two great (final) days for us when we have been here for different reasons and we want to get into the next round to put ourselves into the hat to have that opportunity to win it again. But we will have to earn it at the weekend.
“It is a great tribute to the players. We have tried to teach them not to be relaxed.
“You always have to prepare well and, as coaching staff and manager, you have to give that detail in preparation so the players will feel that it is a big game, give them that clear purpose going into the game and then they can go and express themselves.
“And the demands at Celtic are to win, to win well, and over my period here that is what the players have done and the ambition is to continue with that.”
The Hoops are certainly in fine form, having won all six games since the turn of the year, scoring 16 goals with none conceded.
The Parkhead side beat St Johnstone 2-0 home and away in the Ladbrokes Premiership before their 2-0 home win over Hibernian in midweek.
Rodgers’ men also beat the Saints twice earlier in the season, once in the Betfred Cup, and the former Liverpool boss acknowledged the familiarity Scottish football can produce.
He said: “We have played St Johnstone four times this season, it is only human that you can maybe be blase going into these games having won the games and played well in them.
“We have always tried to train the players with the attitude that every game is different, you have to respect every game.
“We work very hard on excellence in our work and that is not easy.
“Anyone who has been in my position will tell you with respect of how difficult it is, when you are playing well and winning games, how to sustain that.
“But the beauty of these players is that they are very focused, the culture we have is based around that, no matter how we are doing that we can always improve.
“That is the mentality we take into this game and our objective is to get through.”