ANGE POSTECOGLOU has challenged his Celtic players to use the pain from the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers as fuel for the final push towards the league title, urging them to draw on the resiliency they have shown throughout the season to date.

Postecoglou admitted that the extra-time defeat to their city rivals at Hampden had been a bitter blow, and that the Celtic dressing room was a scene of crushing disappointment in the aftermath of the 2-1 loss that ended their hopes of a Treble.

But the Celtic manager knows there is no time to feel sorry for themselves, with a trip to face Ross County in Dingwall next Sunday the first of five massive fixtures as they look to regain the Premiership crown.

"We have had to be resilient all year and this is another challenge for us,” Postecoglou said.

"We are disappointed we didn't get to another final, we are disappointed for our fans. But irrespective of what happened today we have five games to concentrate on winning the league, starting next week.

“We need to make sure that we use this disappointment to fuel our endeavours in this next series of games.

"We are obviously disappointed by the outcome, [it was] an opportunity to get to a final which we didn't take.

"It was a typical semi-final, a very tight game between both teams and it was just decided by moments in the game.

"We had our moments and they had theirs, unfortunately they are the ones who got over the line.

"It is just the nature of cup football, a semi-final, they are never going to be open games, players know what is at stake, they know the consequences of actions so both teams played fairly conservative, it wasn't an open game.

“We just had to stay disciplined in our approach and wait for our moments and when they came we had to capitalise, and we did on one occasion but not on others and in extra time they capitalised on theirs.

“At the end of the day, it's two teams giving everything right until the final minute. There's so much at stake. The 28, 29, 30 players that came on today gave everything they could. It's what you expect in this kind of game.”

It could have been a very different outcome for Celtic had Cameron Carter-Vickers not crashed the ball off the bar from close range when his side were a goal to the good, and Postecoglou feels it was a moment that summed up the lack of care his players had taken in promising positions for most of the afternoon.

"That's how these games are usually decided, when you have two strong teams and they are rarely open games,” he said.

"We did have that opportunity to go 2-0 up, but it wasn't taken and they went up the other end and scored, and even then there were moments we could have done a little bit better with, but in the end they took their moment in extra time and won the game.”

Celtic had several players forced off during 120 gruelling minutes, with Josip Juranovic, Greg Taylor and Liel Abada all picking up injuries, while defender Carter-Vickers was limping heavily towards the end of extra time.

But Postecoglou doesn’t think any of those players will be absent for the trip to Dingwall next weekend.

"Just because they gave everything, mate,” he said.

“Liel hasn't played a lot so we knew, particularly in a game like this, he would only get to the hour mark. All the players gave everything, there was nothing more.

“We had some strength off the bench, particularly with the first set of subs. They made a difference, gave us some more energy going forward. I haven't spoken to the medical crew yet."