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

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."

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