Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou felt the Kyogo Furuhashi two-goal was an example of how hard work has allowed his side to earn more trophies as their 2-1 win over Rangers sealed the Viaplay Cup.
The Japanese striker made two close passes as the Scottish champions secured the trophy at Hampden.
Furuhashi also scored twice in last season’s final against Hibernian. And Postecoglu stressed how much he deserved his honor.
“It’s invaluable to have players who are willing to do anything to help the team,” he said.
“It’s not just his goals. Of course the door is the most important thing. But he works very hard. He wasn’t floating outside just waiting for an opportunity. He’s exhausting himself doing things other strikers don’t do because he knows it’s the right thing for the team.
“Players at this club are often measured by their performances on the biggest stage. And he did it again.
“You look at his size and the players he faces. And he didn’t dodge anything. He puts his rivals under pressure. He is very smart in his moves. And he wants to be a striker and centre-forward when he has the opportunity.
“He was outstanding and outstanding. And he stood out from the moment he joined this club.
Postecoglou has won three of the four trophies since he arrived in Scotland and his side are chasing three trophies this season.
“The players and staff are working hard. And part of this process is getting rewards. So you can continue to work hard,” he said.
“The children received the prizes they deserved. And we know what it means for our supporters.”
Furuhashi gave Celtic a deserved half-time lead and doubled their advantage 11 minutes into the second half, but Rangers soon got the game on after Alfredo Morelos notched a set-piece.
“It’s a cup final. and almost no one party dominates Although I thought we were great in terms of football in a big game with that atmosphere, we scored two great goals,” said Postecoglou.
“Credit to Rangers that they stuck there and were a little bit more direct. And we have to defend a lot. and they are encouraged from their gates.
“But we have a really flexible group of players. And the back four is outstanding at handling what they have to deal with in terms of crossing.
“We had to go through some sticky patches and finish the game strong. and will likely cause the game to stop But we got it by doing every aspect of the game.”
Rangers manager Michael Beale has admitted they paid for a slow start as he suffered his first defeat in charge of the Ibrox club.
“We started the game really bad,” he said. “We were always in the game. But we never played at the pace we wanted or were able to do in the first half.
“There are no complaints about the result. at the start of the second half We improved and had a big moment when Ryan [Kent] hit the post and we should have done better in the rebound.
“If we score goals in that time It could be a momentum change. But we found ourselves 2-0 down, we scored and showed a lot of character and flexibility to push the game. But I expected more from myself and the team. So it’s disappointing.”
Beale felt that their fight had diminished from “Energy and intensity”, but he added: “We are not playing at our true level.
“Why is that? I’m going to go back with the staff and the players and watch it because the last few times I’ve been back. That was our first defeat in 15 games, but there were many games where honest half-time talk forced a reaction from the team. “
Beale defended his pick after dropping recent signings Nicolas Raskin and Todd Cantwell and started with injury doubts pre-match Malik Tillman and John Lundstram joining Glen Kamara in midfield.
“The same team played well against the old team in the new year. It’s playing the best since I came back. in the Hearts game,” he said.
“You have two players come into the club and play two-and-a-half games against an opponent you have the ball. There is a little bit more we have to do today both defensively and defensively.