Brendan Rodgers salutes ‘big-game player’ Adam Idah after Celtic’s cup win

Brendan Rodgers Salutes ‘Big-Game Player’ Adam Idah After Celtic’s Cup Win
Rodgers was also delighted to see 37-year-old goalkeeper Joe Hart end up with another winners’ medal in his final game before retirement.
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By Ronnie Esplin, PA

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers saluted “big-game player” Adam Idah after his dramatic late winner against Rangers in the 150th anniversary Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park.

The 23-year-old Republic of Ireland striker, who joined on loan from Norwich in the winter transfer window, took over from Kyogo Furuhashi in the second half after a Rangers goal had been chalked off for an infringement and he pounced on a fumble by Gers keeper Jack Butland in the last minute of normal time to fire in the winner.


It was Idah’s ninth goal since arriving in Glasgow and it secured a league and cup double for the Hoops, and the Parkhead boss waxed lyrical about his overall contribution to Celtic’s cause – although was more coy about discussing a possible longer-term deal.

He said: “The board know how I feel on Adam, that was the reason for bringing him in.

“He’s been a real catalyst for us, especially over the last few months.


“I knew what I was getting because I’d seen him in the Premier League at 18.

“He has all the attributes. He’s fast, dynamic, strong and I felt with better positioning he’d get goals.

“What he’s done since coming in is show that he’s a goalscorer. He gets different types of goals.

“He has great movement in the box and he deals with pressure moments. Today, he was like a real number nine sniffing in and around the box.


“He’s been absolutely immense for us and he’s clearly someone I’d like to do something with.

Adam Idah won it for Celtic
Adam Idah won it for Celtic. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA.

“I’ve seen development in him and that’s what the game’s about – players improving. I just know with Adam that he’s got such a high ceiling.


“The Premier League is the most competitive league in world football and you need a certain level of physicality and he showed that as a really young player.

“Adam probably got lost a little bit for a few years but coming to here, he’s thrived on the pressure of being at a big club.

“He was clear on his role when he came in and how I would use him. Adam had to get a feel for us but I told him he had to be ready to make an impact, either starting games or coming on.

“His confidence has never wavered, he’s been a brilliant team player for us.

“He’s such a good guy, the players love him. And he’s a big-game player. In so many big moments, he’s stepped up to the plate for us.

“I’m so happy for him – a boy from Ireland, a striker scoring the winning goal in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers. Wow. What a summer he’ll have.

“My talks with Adam will remain private because there’s a lot of work to do.

“But he knows my feelings and so does the club so we’ll see what happens.”

Rodgers was also delighted to see 37-year-old goalkeeper Joe Hart end up with another winners’ medal in his final game before retirement.

He said: “It’s brilliant. He’s finished on a clean sheet.

“I said to the players on Friday, this is a guy who has worked for 21 years.

“We have some young players who have just completed their first season training with us and have had 200 sessions over the course of the season.

“Joe has done about 4200 training sessions in his career.

“And, do you know what, every time I see him in training, it’s like his first one.

“His enthusiasm, his love of the game, his leadership and everything about the man is top class.

“And what a way for him to finish. He’s a double winner at a club that’ll idolise him now for the rest of his life. I’m just so, so pleased for him.”

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