Next Game

KR Reykjavik v Celtic

Tuesday, 15 July 2014, 20:00

Champions League Qualifying Second Round

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

World Cup Promotions

Daily World Cup Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

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.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ill any Brazilian parent ever name their child Fred again? I could see it earning similar status as the first name Adolph in Germany (or anywhere, come to think of it).

bleublancrouge
Nothing Will Ever Be The Same For Brazil. Ever.

C

redit to Vlaar for stepping up. Better to be the man who missed than be the coward who wouldn't step up for his country

avspitfire
Dutch stars refused penalty

W

ho were the two who refused? Oh come on Football365 tell us - just pretend you're The Daily Mail or The Star and make it up if any any doubt.....

thesideparting
Dutch stars refused penalty

Footer 365

World Cup: Louis van Gaal says two Netherlands players refused to take first penalty against Argentina

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal claims none of his players wanted to take the first penalty against Argentina.

World Cup: Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella thinks Germany are favourites for Sunday's final

​Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella thinks a well-rested Germany will have the advantage in Sunday's World Cup final.

World Cup: Penalty joy for Argentina as they beat Netherlands to reach final

Argentina overcame Netherlands on penalties after a 0-0 draw to set up a meeting with Germany in the World Cup final.

Mail Box

Do England Need Scholes, Lineker Etc?

They've all got ideas about where things are going wrong, so why don't they step up and help? Plus, we have lots of fall-out from the dullness of Holland v Argentina...

Mails: Are Footballers Just Big Kids?

That's what the mailbox thinks, with Brazil's players showing a lack of responsibility in their 7-1 thrashing by Germany. Plus, more on Ozil and the importance of passion...

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