LENNON HOPING FOR CUP SUCCESS

Celtic boss Neil Lennon wants to end an extraordinary week in his personal life with victory at Hampden.

Last Updated: 16/03/12 at 17:31 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Wants League Cup glory

Neil Lennon: Wants League Cup glory

More of the games that matter

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

Neil Lennon wants to end an extraordinary week in his personal life by winning the Scottish Communities League Cup final against Kilmarnock at Hampden on Sunday.

On Monday the Celtic boss was coffin bearer at the funeral of close friend Paul McBride QC, who had advised and represented the Parkhead club.

He was also in the witness box at the High Court in Glasgow this week for the trial of two men accused of conspiring to murder him.

Lennon, speaking at the club's Lennoxtown training ground on Friday, looked forward to an uplifting end to the week by winning what he hopes will be the first trophy of a treble this season.

"There has been a wide range of emotions involved this week," he said.

"It was a difficult start to the week but I'm hoping the weekend ends the way I want it to with my team playing very well in the cup final and hopefully going on to win it.

"For me it has been a very significant trophy in my career.

"The League Cup was my first major trophy at Leicester and it was my first major trophy here at Celtic in 2001 and it was my first as Celtic captain.

"It's a trophy that's there to be won.

"People sort of dismiss it but when they get to the final all that dimissiveness goes and all of a sudden it becomes a huge day out, which it is.

"It is a huge day out for the supporters and it will be a big day for the players.

"Some of the players didn't do themselves justice last year (losing to Rangers in the final), they get the chance to rectify it and that doesn't come around often and I'm hoping they do that on Sunday."

Lennon is ignoring the prospect of the treble and the trip to Ibrox in the Clydesdale Bank the following week.

"It's all about the cup final," said the former Celtic skipper. "We haven't talked about anything else apart from this game.

"It's a trophy that is important to win and is important to myself in terms of my own record and is important to the players.

"There will be some who will be playing in their first final with the chance of winning their first medal and it's all on the day.

"I am not picking a team with the following week in mind, I am picking a team with the focus on this game."

Celtic booked their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final last week with a 4-0 win at Dundee United, but Lennon is aware that game was edging towards the home side until defender Robbie Neilson was sent off in the first half for a challenge on Hoops striker Georgios Samaras.

"I was happy in the end," he said. "It was a brilliant second half and we were ruthless and clinical.

"But we had to weather a bit of a storm in the first half and I thought we were second best in some departments and if we are like that on Sunday we will get punished."

Lennon revealed he will wait until the end of the season to discuss the future of stopper Daniel Majstorovic, who is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.

"We will sit down at the end of the season and see what we can offer him," said the Hoops boss.

"But he might not want to stay, he might want to further his career somewhere else.

"But I'm speculating, I haven't had the chance to sit down with him but he is determined to come back at the level he was playing at before and that is testament to him.

"I have no doubt he will be back playing again in six to nine months time."

More of the games that matter

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

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

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

Footer 365

Sky sources: Alan Irvine will be in charge for West Brom's trip to West Ham on New Year's Day

A senior West Brom source has told Sky Sports News HQ that Alan Irvine will be in charge for the game against West Ham.

Transfer news: Fernando Torres heads back to Atletico Madrid on loan until end of next season

Fernando Torres is returning to Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Simon Mignolet: I'll take positives from losing Liverpool spot and come back stronger

Simon Mignolet says a recent spell out of the Liverpool side could end up having a positive effect on his career.

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