IF you are only as good as your last game, then Celtic set the bar high last Sunday. A 5-0 thrashing of Rangers and becoming champions is hard to eclipse.

The players’ reward for delivering a seventh successive Scottish Premiership title from Brendan Rodgers was instant with a trip to Tenerife where the bar undoubtedly served alcohol.

Even though today’s lunchtime encounter with Hearts at Tynecastle was just around the corner, the Celtic manager trusted his players not to stray off the path which has taken them to the brink of back-to-back trebles.

Rodgers also expressed the hope that Kieran Tierney would not be wandering too far from Celtic Park, either. The 20-year-old left-back has just been voted Young Player of the Year by his club, peers and now football writers, which will only bring greater attention from England, where Manchester United covet him.

The only “club” catching Tierney’s eye last week, however, was the one in Tenerife as he and captain Scott Brown and the rest of the squad were pictured letting their hair down.

“The plan was to let the boys have a break if we got to the Scottish Cup final,” Rodgers said. “They have been back here since June 18 last summer. It’s been a long campaign, so wanted to break the last part of it up. This was the only real time I could organise for them to go away. The timing was perfect. To end up winning the league and then have a couple of days to enjoy themselves.

“Nobody needs fitness at this stage, but to get a wee bit of celebration is a good thing. The players are responsible, which is the good thing for me as a manager.

“These players have been brilliant and given everything, so this is the reward. They get to go away and have a bit of sun on their back. It’s enough time before their other games and the Scottish Cup final.”

Speculating about Tierney’s future seems at odds with the image in every newspaper last week of the defender leading the Celtic fans in their title celebrations with a megaphone.

Tierney is living the dream with the club he supports.

But Rodgers said: “The time when players were not for sale is long gone. The kid’s signed a long-term deal and you can see the happiness he has here. Kieran, because of his age and his talent, is always going to be linked with other clubs. There will be suitors watching him but he’s content to be here and last weekend was his best performance against Rangers, for me.

“He played with composure and calmness and you can see he’s maturing all the time. He’s a big talent but I could never say one way or another what his future will be. Everyone would rather he stayed but it’s not all down to Celtic. Maybe there’s nothing you can do. He loves being here. His mum and dad are Celtic daft but it is a short career and you have to be mindful of that.

“So, you have to consider that aspect, especially when there is a limit as to how far your club can push. We’re in an era where not only Scottish football can’t compete with the wages on offer from the Premier League; Italy and Germany can’t either.”

“We’re never going to be able to match that money so if it comes solely down to wages then we’re done. But the advice I give to all of my players is the same I’d give to my son.

“This is a wonderful place to be and they’ve all seen what being here can bring but you also have to respect that it’s a short career and you accept that they have to think about the next step. Of course, I want to keep the players I have and then look to bring in others to strengthen the squad.”

Rodgers has no fears about returning to the scene of Celtic’s worst game this season. The 4-0 defeat at Tynecastle last December ended Celtic’s unbeaten run at 69 games, the first loss of Rodgers’ tenure.

“That was part of the learning curve,” he said. “We were beaten by the better team on the day and Hearts played very well. We made too many mistakes and that brought our incredible run to an end. We dusted ourselves off and won the next few games and then when we played Hearts at Celtic Park in January and won, we were exceptional. I expect a tough game at Tynecastle, it’s a tough place.”