Celtic winger Scott Sinclair has thanked boss Brendan Rodgers for helping get his career back on track.

The former Chelsea youngster was in danger of becoming England's latest nearly man after moves to Manchester City and Aston Villa turned sour.

But he is now back producing his best after Rodgers rescued him from his nightmare stint at Villa Park.

He will have the chance to claim his first winners' medal with the Hoops next month after helping the Parkhead side overcome Rangers in the BetFred Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Moussa Demeble's late strike gave Celtic a 1-0 win, but it was Rodgers who got Sinclair's plaudits.

He said: "I could never have imagined things going as smoothly when I decided to make the move up here.

"The big thing for me was to come up here and enjoy my football again and get things back on track. I wanted to play under a manager who has belief in me.

"It's great now that we're in a final and we can hopefully get some silverware before Christmas. Things couldn't have gone any better.

"I feel my career is back on track now. You can see that when I'm enjoying football I play well every week.

"I've played under this manager on numerous occasions at Swansea and the youth team at Chelsea and he gives me confidence.

"When I was at Swansea enjoying it and scoring all the time it got me a move to City. Now I'm just happy and feeling at home up here at Celtic."

Celtic dished out a 5-1 hiding in the first Old Firm clash of the campaign last month, but Gers were more resolute at Hampden.

However, a Jason Holt chance for Gers midway through the second half apart, it was one-way traffic as Celtic dominated.

They had to wait until two minutes from time to grab the winner as Dembele flicked home in style after substitute strike partner Leigh Griffiths finally found a chink in the Rangers rear-guard.

But Gers keeper Matt Gilks believes Rangers showed they are closing the gap on the Hoops.

The former Scotland stopper - given the nod ahead of regular number one Wes Foderingham after boss Mark Warburton promised him he would start the Light Blues cup matches this term - said: "After the first game and the result we had a lot of people started talking about a gulf, but I think it was just a one-off.

"As you can see today we have actually outplayed them at times and were very unfortunate to concede late on.

"The gulf is definitely not as big as everyone thinks."