IN QUOTES: Motherwell boss Robinson reflects on Celtic's Scottish Cup win

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson hailed his battling Steelmen after they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.

First-half strikes from Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham proved to be the difference as Brendan Rodgers’ men sewed up a historic double treble.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson. Picture John Devlin.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson. Picture John Devlin.

The first leg of this season’s clean sweep was achieved after beating Motherwell 2-0 in the Betfred Cup final and the Hoops once again proved too strong in the Hampden sunshine on Saturday. But Robinson couldn't fault his players' effort.

He said: “I couldn’t be prouder of them, they are the youngest squad in the league and the boys are learning lessons all the time.

“They are starting out in their careers and I think we will only get better. We will improve. The realism of where we are, we get 4000 fans, two cup finals and a point off the top six so it’s been a fantastic season and I want more of that.

“I said to the boys don’t be happy with average and keep striving to be better every day but as a group of boys they have given a belief back to the town.

Celtic landed a double treble. Picture John Devlin.

Celtic landed a double treble. Picture John Devlin.

“They got tremendous backing from the fans they stayed till the end and I think the players deserved that."

The first quarter of the match proved to be Motherwell’s undoing as they conceded twice in this period and faced an uphill battle to get back into the game.

They improved after the break and fashioned a few opportunities but were unable to take advantage with substitute Gael Bigirimana coming closest when he rattled his free kick off the crossbar.

Robinson said: “I thought in the first 20 to 25 minutes we lost the game.

“We didn’t go right against them as we planned to. I thought we started quite brightly Curtis [Main] and [Ryan] Bowman were causing them problems but we didn’t put enough balls in behind them and we didn’t test them with balls in the box which we are very good at.

"We are a fit and strong side and we knew we would get better as the game would go on and we knew we wouldn’t tire.

“Who knows if we had got a goal and Bigirimana’s shot goes in it does put them on the back foot. They’ve always got that quality that they could hit you on the counter attack – we know that, that’s why they have just won a treble.

“I thought we created a lot of chances and caused them a lot of problems. The regret we have the first 20 to 25 minutes.”

There was a moment of controversy when Chris Cadden looked to move through on goal but was brought down by Dedryck Boyata asked if a red instead of a yellow might have impacted the game, Robinson said: “Let’s not talk about the decisions, we got beat 2-0 by a great strike by McGregor. Was Cadden clean through and his momentum taking him away? I thought it was and does it change the game? potentially but the bit we can control is how we started.

"We gave them too much respect in the first 20-25 minutes that is my only disappointment on the day and the way we went behind but you’ve got to acknowledge it was an incredible strike from the boy.”