Next Game

Partick v Celtic

Thursday, 01 January 2015, 17:30

Scots Prem

Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 0 - 0 Ross Co

Saturday, 27 December 2014, 15:00

Scots Prem

Lennon wary of cup final upset

Neil Lennon was thrilled with Celtic's end to their Premier League campaign but is still wary ahead of the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian at Hampden Park.

Last Updated: 25/05/13 at 21:57 Post Comment

Pat Fenlon and Neil Lennon: Will battle it out for the Scottish Cup

Pat Fenlon and Neil Lennon: Will battle it out for the Scottish Cup

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The SPL champions warmed up for the showpiece occasion with a 4-0 win over St Johnstone at Parkhead with a similar scoreline at Dundee United last week.

Unsurprisingly, the Hoops are heavy favourites to beat the Easter Road side and secure the double.

However, the Parkhead manager is aware of some ropey recent displays at the national stadium, most notably the shock 3-2 Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final defeat to St Mirren in January.

"In the last two games the team has looked powerful and in the mood," said Lennon.

"They have played with great intensity and quality and I hope they bring that on Sunday.

"We beat St Johnstone, who qualified for Europe, quite comprehensively and then went to Dundee United last week, where people thought we would take our foot off the pedal, and we won that one 4-0 as well.

"But you can never tell. I don't want to tempt fate and I don't want to have anyone pointing the finger at me.

"We were playing exactly the same way going into the semi-final against St Mirren and looking really hungry, and we didn't play as well as we could on that particular day. So there are always warning signs there.

"Therefore, it is important that me and my backroom staff get all the bases covered.

"We have prepared them as well as we possibly can for this game and they will be ready for tomorrow."

The former Parkhead skipper will not read anything into Hibs' crushing 5-1 defeat by Edinburgh neighbours Hearts in last season's final.

"We respect Hibs," he said. "Pat Fenlon has done a very good job there and has got them back in the cup final for the second time in a row so he has proved it is no fluke.

"They will have their own incentives off the back of last season. I am sure they have learned a lot from that experience so you will have two highly-motivated teams going into the game."

The Northern Irishman does not believe defeat would be an anti-climax to a season in which his side also reached the last 16 of the Champions League.

"No," Lennon said. "We have won the league, we have progressed fantastically well in Europe and this game is a nice bonus for us to end the season."

Most people believe 28-goal Leigh Griffiths is the key to the Leith club's chances of winning the trophy for the first time since 1902.

However, Lennon was reluctant to focus too much on the striker, who is set to return to Wolves after his second loan spell at his boyhood heroes.

"He has been really impressive," he said. "He is a hungry boy who always wants to get into goalscoring positions.

"He plays on the shoulder of people so you can't give him half a yard because he is a bit like Kris Commons, he has power in both feet and at set-pieces he is a real specialist as he has proved this season.

"Missing chances doesn't faze him either, he keeps going. He is a real threat.

"But I don't want to just talk about one player. Hibs have a few attacking options.

"The young lad Alex Harris has come in and done particularly well as has young Ross Caldwell, so we will have our work cut out."

Right-back Adam Matthews has been ruled out after failing to shrug off a hamstring complaint which has kept him out since March.

Midfielders Victor Wanyama and Beram Kayal are suspended while defender Charlie Mulgrew (knee) and winger James Forrest (hamstring) will be assessed today.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

Footer 365

Paul Lambert: Aston Villa's new style here to stay despite lack of goals

Paul Lambert is sure the goals will come for Aston Villa if they persist with their current style of football.

Bobby Zamora tells QPR to give Charlie Austin a new contract

Bobby Zamora has told QPR to sort out Charlie Austin's future before his goals attract bids from elsewhere.

Jose Mourinho: It's only a matter of time before John Terry gets new contract

John Terry will definitely stay at Chelsea beyond the end of his current deal, Jose Mourinho says.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property