Celtic captain Scott Brown admitted that he was “devastated” when Brendan Rodgers broke the news to him last week about quitting the club, but the midfielder believes the Parkhead side have shown their character in the week that has past since the news.

Rodgers took Brown into his office on Monday afternoon to break the news that he was going to speak to Leicester, with the Celtic backroom staff also informed.

But Brown also explained that the first bit of advice offered by short-term manager Neil Lennon was to show to people that it was the players who have dominated the domestic landscape for the last 32 months.

Since news broke of Rodgers’ departure to Leicester last Tuesday morning, Celtic have take three points at Tynecastle and booked their place in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a comfortable win over Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday evening.

“When Brendan first pulled me in to tell me I was devastated. It is probably the only way to describe it because he is a class manager. He was brilliant with me on a personal level and brilliant for the club and I was blown away, to be honest.

“But one of the first things that Neil Lennon said to us is that it is us as players who have had to go and show what we have got and what we are about on the pitch. And I think that is what we tried to take on board this week.

“It wasn’t the easiest of weeks but I think the manner of the two results, two big wins, have given an indication of the character that we have got within the squad. It would have been easy for us to use Brendan’s departure as an excuse for letting things slip but we haven’t done that.

“In fact, it’s the first time that we have won at Tynecastle this season and it’s the first time we have won at Easter Road for five years as someone pointed out to me. So we’ve done pretty well and it is now just a case of keeping that focus.”

The draw for the semi-finals will be made this evening straight after the quarter-final tie between Partick Thistle and Hearts.

But Brown is relaxed about whoever might come out of the hat.

“My only concern is that we were in it, that’s what my job is,” said the Celtic captain. “Anything else is out of our hands.”

For the first time since the mid-winter break Celtic will have a free midweek. Lennon has confirmed that the players will be given time off to draw breath after what has been a hectic seven days at the club and Brown is appreciative of the chance to let the events of Rodgers’ departure sink in.

“It’s all about going forward for us now,” he said. “But the chance to get a bit of down time and just take stock will be good for us. It gives us an opportunity to gather our thoughts and shake off any wee knocks and prepare for what is a big month now. I think we have all had a chance to take it in and now it is about making sure we are at our best. Our focus won't slip.

“We have Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon and we just want to make sure that we are all looking to keep things going.”