Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has learnt lessons from early-season draw at Inverness


TOP BHOY: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will see his side put their treble hopes on the line when they visit Inverness in the William Hill Scottish Cup this afternoon. The Hoops will return to the scene of the only domestic match they’ve failed ot win this season, eith Alex Fisher’s late goal giving Caley a 2-2 draw back in September (above)
Liam Maguire

Brendan Rodgers remains riled by Celtic's only domestic blip this season but insists lessons learned in their draw at Inverness have stood the Hoops in good stead.

The only points the Parkhead men have dropped so far in the Ladbrokes Premiership was in the Highlands in September, where substitute Alex Fisher scored in the last minute to give the home side a 2-2 draw.

Since then Celtic have won 19 consecutive league games, and go into their William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round tie at home to Richie Foran's Caley Thistle on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run in Scotland since the start of the season to 30 games.

Celtic, who are 27 points ahead of second-placed Aberdeen, are odds-on favourites to beat the Premiership's bottom side, who are a staggering 52 points behind their hosts.

Rodgers, looking back at the draw against Inverness, said: "We were poor in the first half. We were very good in the second half.

"Their goalkeeper had the game of his life and then we conceded a goal that we shouldn't concede. But they were in a good moment.

"It was a game for us to take away, analyse and develop and see where we could improve and there is no doubt we used that experience.

"But it has been a tough couple of months for Richie with his team in terms of trying to get results, even more tough when you are first time manager in the job.

"But he will stay calm and get around his players because that is important.

"You need your players to win games, you need to be together and I am sure they will continue to work well and will look at this game as maybe a breather from the league. But they will also respect that it will be a tough game for them."

Rodgers approaches the cup tie confident in the knowledge his side have developed the winning habit - which has already brought the Betfred Cup to Parkhead - since he took over as Celtic manager last summer.

The former Swansea and Liverpool boss said: "Nothing changes. We play to win every single game, whether it is a league game or a cup game.

"For us, the focus on winning the game is exactly the same. There is no change in mentality.

"We have seen that in the league game and lots of others games where we have been searching for the way to win, and we have found it.

"If we play well we have a great chance of winning and that's the approach in every game."

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