Celtic have 'improved their mindset' on trips to Hampden - Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers with the Scottish Cup
Celtic are aiming to win the Scottish Cup for a second year in a row
Scottish Cup final: Celtic v Motherwell
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 19 May Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One Scotland from 14:00, Radio Scotland & BBC Sport Scotland website and BBC Sport app

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says his team will go to Hampden under less pressure this year.

The champions could claim an unprecedented 'double-treble' should they beat Motherwell in Saturday's Scottish Cup final.

However, Rodgers says his team no longer feel the weight of expectation when they visit the national stadium.

"The players now come with a confidence and I think the supporters come with a confidence as well," said Rodgers, 45.

Under previous manager Ronny Deila, Celtic lost three of their five games at Hampden. During Neil Lennon's tenure they also suffered four defeats at the stadium.

However, Rodgers has won seven out of seven at Hampden, including three cup finals, and says changing the mindset of the players was one of his main tasks when arriving at the club in the summer of 2016.

"The players gained a great deal of confidence the first time they came here," Rodgers said at the national stadium.

"I think there was a lot of trepidation around coming to Hampden for whatever reason. I think players can believe something if they're told it often enough.

"So we tried to improve the mindset of the players going into our first semi-final here in the League Cup last season, and then to go on to not only win the final but the way they played, it gave the players a lot of confidence.

"If we want to be successful - which the demand at a club like Celtic is - then you have to be able to play at your national stadium and to be able to win. The players have done that exceptionally well.

"You hear talk around these games that it's the team that wants it more. Finals are a bit more than that."

Celtic after losing to Inverness CT in the 2015 Scottish Cup semi-final
Celtic suffered a series of semi-final defeats at Hampden under Ronny Deila and Neil Lennon

Rodgers also says that the pressure of achieving the club's first treble in 16 years made the build up to last year's cup final against Aberdeen more nerve wracking, and believes 12 months on the players have been able to enjoy their pre-final preparations.

"The players are a bit more relaxed and focused on our performance," he said. "It's a different feeling this time."

Rodgers has a great deal of respect for Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson, and says the task in front of Celtic in achieving successive trebles should not be underestimated.

Well have drawn twice with Rodgers' side this season, but lost the other league encounter.

And Rodgers added: "It's a team that tests you in a different way. Some teams test you with the ball, this is a team that tests you physically.

"But finals are different. There's different emotions in the game, players are thinking differently, but we'll anticipate a really tough game.

"The great teams, managers and players that have been up here, [for the double treble] to not have been done in the whole history of what is a wonderful football country that tells you the magnitude of it."

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