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  • Manager: We can’t wait to get out on the Hampden pitch

    Manager: We can’t wait to get out on the Hampden pitch

    By: Joe Donnelly on 08 Dec, 2019 08:01

  • CELTIC’S unprecedented and historic Treble Treble success, coupled with their League Cup run so far this campaign, has seen them win 30 cup ties in a row since 2016. Neil Lennon is no stranger to cup finals, and the Celtic manager can’t wait to go again today (Sunday) at Hampden.

    His side go into the Glasgow derby final in fine form, having won 11 successive games across all competitions, and establishing a two-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

    Still, the Celtic manager approaches the match with caution, as he targets another successful afternoon at the National Stadium.   

    “There have been big games already this season, whether it be in the league or Europe, and this is just the next one,” said the manager. “We’re excited about it, obviously. It’s the first cup final and the boys are defending the trophy. There’s a quiet motivation about them to keep that going. 

    “The whole focus is on the team and the players to put on a performance that will get them over the line. Once the game starts it’s fine and the concentration is solely on the game and the mechanisms of the game.

    "The build-up can be however you want it to be. With experience you learn to keep a lid on things and keep calm. You can play the game in your head but that’s not real.

    “You just have to get out there, be in the present and make your decisions as you go along, that’s the fun part. You just need to be out there, be in the present and make the decisions.”

    Neil Lennon acknowledged the fact that the game at Hampden will be some of his players’ first ever cup final experience, but in turn underscored the importance of his more experienced heads coaching them through the occasion.

    The Irishman likewise highlighted the importance of his side’s emphatic 5-2 semi-final win over Hibernian in terms of preparation, and he expects a physical game from the Ibrox side.  

    He added: “The majority of the players have played in the semi-final, so they have a taste for the logistics of the stadium and the atmosphere. They’ve played Rangers at Ibrox, so that gives them an idea of how physical Rangers can be. They have to play the game and make the split-second decisions when they can.

    “More than anything, you have to enjoy the occasion. You enjoy it if you win, and that’s what we aim to do.”

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