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  • Callum McGregor: We'll take confidence into Hampden cup final

    Callum McGregor: We'll take confidence into Hampden cup final

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 05 Dec, 2019 16:31

  • THE first domestic cup final of the season is looming on the horizon, with Celtic heading to Hampden this Sunday looking to retain the League Cup for the fourth consecutive season. Neil Lennon’s side go into the Glasgow derby clash full of confidence after recording their 11th win in a row with a 2-1 win over Hamilton Accies at Celtic Park.

    The result put the Hoops two points clear at the top of the Premiership table, and that, coupled with the manner of the win with Scott Brown’s last-gasp winner, has proved a real boost for the squad.

    Speaking ahead of Sunday’s showpiece final, Callum McGregor said: “We’ve been on a good run, so to continue that and get three points at home is important. It was nice to get the late winner to take us into the weekend.

    “We didn’t know for definite but you could hear the noises in the stadium and it filtered through (scoreline from Pittodrie). Once Hamilton scored, panic stations set in, but thankfully we got the winner and it’s another big win to add on top of what we’ve been doing.

    “The league is completely separate to cup finals and it’s a one-off game. What happens on the day is the team that plays best wins. We have 11 wins in a row, so it’s important we take that confidence into the game and prepare properly.

    “The most important thing is you turn up on the day and earn the right to win the game and that’s what we want to do.”

    Celtic have lifted the League Cup for the past three seasons as part of a domestic treble, and they want to make it four-in-a-row, the first time that will have been done in the competition since Jock Stein’s Celtic side back in the 1960s.

    And having defeated Aberdeen, Motherwell and Aberdeen again in the Hampden finale, now it is Rangers who stand between Neil Lennon’s side and another piece of silverware.

    “It’s a cup final and both teams will be desperate to win,” said McGregor. “ I don’t think there’s more pressure on either team. For us, it’s another big game and that’s what we’ve been used to the last few years and we’re going to prepare the same way we always have.

    “These cup finals are massive games. You prepare properly every time you play one of these games. The more you play then the more experience you get, the easier it is to handle in the build-up and obviously when you step on the pitch everything becomes a bit more familiar.

    “That's why we’ve been so successful the last few years – the template we’ve worked from. Every game is the most important because it’s the next one. We know what we’re trying to do and what we want to achieve and the reason why we’ve been so successful is because we’ve taken it one game a time. It’s easy to block that out and now focus purely on Sunday.”

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