CELTIC defender Dedryck Boyata revealed an uncomplicated pep-talk from Brendan Rodgers set him on his way to the cusp of a domestic treble.
The 26-year-old struggled to make an impact when the Northern Irishman took over from Ronny Deila last summer.
The Belgium international’s only appearance before the turn of the year was in a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in November.
However, Boyata has not looked back since being reinstated into the side for the 3-0 William Hill Scottish Cup win over Albion Rovers at the Excelsior Stadium on January 22.
Ahead of the final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park, where victory will complete a clean sweep for the Hoops, Boyata spoke about following Rodgers’ instructions on his return.
The former Manchester City player, who signed for Celtic in 2015, said: “You know when you don’t play that much and you get into the team you always try to have the tendency to do too much to impress people, I remember he said he didn’t want me to do that.
“He wanted me just to play simple and to play as I did in training and he said that everything would go well if I did whatever he told me.
“Fitness-wise, I feel great, injury-wise I feel even better and I am gaining the confidence I had before and things are going well.
“Everyone is excited, there are a few days left now before another game where we need 100 per cent focus.
“We know it is going to be a big achievement if we manage to win this game and we are trying to get ready to play.”
Boyata admits the prospect of playing a major part in a side on the brink of a treble was far from his thoughts in the back end of 2016.
He said: “No, because obviously this season started with an injury, then a second injury and I played one game for the team in December.
“To tell myself I will play every game until the end of the season, that would be a lie.”
Rodgers’ side are unbeaten in 46 domestic games since the start of the season, including a whole Ladbrokes Premiership campaign.
Boyata conceded that falling at the final hurdle would leave the Hoops “very sad”.
He said: “For anybody to be in the position where everything is going well, and at the last second you lose the game, you don’t feel as good as you would be (feeling, if you won).
“The cup is very important to us and it will be for Aberdeen as well.
“It will be a hard game but we are ready to give everything as it is the last game of the season as well.
“We have been taking it game by game all season, we are not going to change our focus, it has served us well until now. We will go there and give 100 per cent.”