Brendan Rodgers has praised his Celtic players for overcoming the ‘narrative’ around the club, saying that there are people who are determined to bring both him and his team down.

Celtic came through a difficult Scottish Cup fifth round tie against St Mirren, and despite the negativity that has often surrounded their campaign, they are now on a run of eight wins from their last nine games.

Rodgers contends that their form doesn’t constitute a crisis, or justify talk of such at the club, and he lauded his players for blanking out the criticism as he vowed to fight on to deliver the league title and the Scottish Cup.

Rodgers said: “I said to the players afterwards that I had great pride in them today because there was a narrative around the team that if they are not strong minded and don’t establish a collective mentality it could hurt you, especially with so many young players.

“But they came through it very well and showed they are fighting and working very well together.

“The narrative has been for a while. That’s the reality of it. We can only concentrate on ourselves. I’m so proud of the players today.

“It’s a very young team when you take out Joe Hart and Callum McGregor, a very inexperienced group. But how they are reacting and sticking together is very important. There’s a lot of noise around but we continue to win football matches.

“I don’t think it’s a crisis. It’s obviously a narrative that’s been created outside. But I don’t expect anything less to be honest. We just focus on ourselves.

“We are a winning club. When you’ve won consistently over a number of years, people will look to jump on you and bring you down – and bring me down.

“I am here to win. For sure we will have our day, and have many days going forward. We’ll get our influential players back and the squad will be very strong to the end of the season.

“We’ll continue to fight.”

Rodgers says that the noise around his team from the outside makes both him and his players determined to prove to people that they have what it takes to overcome the adversity they have faced this season.

“We just have to prove a point to ourselves and our supporters,” he said.

“I think that’s always the best attitude. You are always looking to prove a point.

“It’s a part of the world where there is a lot of noise – and this year in particular when it hasn’t been as fluent.

“You only need to look at any sort of analysis or have any sort of understanding off football to look deeper.

“We get compared to the squad of last season but one, it’s not the same squad as last season, and two, a lot of these players who were starting last season have not been playing all of this season. It hasn’t stopped the negativity.

“But I use it in a different way and look logically at it. We’ve missed some important players for long periods and we made some changes in the summer.

“This is a young group of players here who are giving everything, who are looking to develop and improve. If they keep doing that, we’ll keep winning games.

“It always is important [the cup]. It’s the oldest competition in the world. Celtic have a brilliant history in it, and we want to create more.

“It was a tricky tie but we got through. We are all in for this competition and the league.”