Brendan Rodgers always considered the Betfred Cup the “most important” of the season. It was the only trophy he won three times during his stay in Glasgow. It set the tone for each season.
That was his thinking too. The trophy dished out in early December effectively gave his side a reward for their efforts in the first-half of the season. That first period can be incredibly gruelling for the Celtic squad and management after all. Rodgers’ side played 38 matches between July and December last year. They played 38 the season before too.
Neil Lennon’s men are already scheduled to play 36. That number will increase if they defeat Partick Thistle on Wednesday night. The games just keep on coming.
“This is always the most important,” Rodgers said of the Betfred Cup in 2017. (Scottish Sun)
“I think it is a great trophy to win.
“It was a very important one for us last year, something tangible to show for our growth and work.
“It’s great for the clubs to have a trophy so early in the season. When it is there, you obviously want to grab it.”
The Betfred Cup could set the tone again
The same will undoubtedly go for Lennon’s side this year. The Northern Irishman built a relatively new looking squad this summer. Perennial winners like Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney moved on. They were replaced by the likes of Christopher Jullien, Boli Bolingoli and Hatem Abd Elhamed.
These new players will need a chance to learn what it means to win trophies and the Betfred Cup gives them an ideal opportunity. It also has the added advantage of piling the misery on our rivals across the city.
All those reasons combined mean that the Betfred Cup may once again set the precedent for the season.