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  • Coach's delight as classy Celts lift cup

    Coach's delight as classy Celts lift cup

    By: Martin Dalziel on 28 Apr, 2015 22:05

  • COACH Tommy McIntyre has praised Celtic Under-17s for the style in which they retained the Glasgow Cup.

    The young Hoops dominated the final against Rangers at Hampden tonight (Tuesday) and cruised to a 2-0 victory thanks to second-half goals from Josh Kerr and Mark Hill.

    The Ibrox side started the match brightly but the Bhoys soon took control, going close in the first half before the breakthrough came on 74 minutes, when Kerr smashed home a shot after Rangers keeper Robbie McCrorie flapped at a Celtic corner in the six yard box.

    Hill then scored two minutes later to kill the contest after his powerful and swerving free-kick from the left flank caused confusion in the Rangers penalty area and squirmed past McCrorie to make it 2-0.

    It was nothing short of what the Celts deserved, given their outright dominance over the Ibrox side, and the Professional Academy Manager praised them for the manner in which they won the cup.

    “The importance of this was the performance,” he said. “It’s not just about winning, it’s about the manner in which we did it. It’s about the style, philosophy and everything we do throughout the Academy.

    “The players look up to the first team and they see the way they play and the enthusiasm for the type of game they play, so they have good role models and on a big stage like this I thought they acquitted themselves really well.”

    Celtic’s style and composure throughout the match helped them control play for large periods, but Rangers still had chances and the Hoops had goalkeeper Ross Doohan to thank for an outstanding save at his near post which kept the scores level before the Bhoys went up the pitch and grabbed the opener.

    McIntyre added that the commitment, fitness and drive of his side to keep creating chances in the face of a stern Rangers defence was testament to the work carried out by the club’s sports science department.

    “There are always new ideas and we’re at the cutting edge of sports science,” he added. “The staff work really hard to look at that conditioning aspect of their development and they are doing well.

    “It’s good to get the plaudits about how strong they looked at the end of the game and for us that is really important.

    “The type of game it is means you won’t have the ball for 90 minutes but we urge the players to have a high-pressing, high-intensity game and to try to win the ball back quickly as soon as they lose it, then fill in the spaces and play from there.

    “They stuck to that really well and you understand they won’t have full possession of the game but I thought we controlled it, even when we didn’t have the ball.

    “We controlled the tempo of the game and nullified any chances that Rangers had and we made sure we took the chances we had, albeit we had one or two we probably should have done a little bit better with.

    “But, take nothing away from them and they got what they deserved.”

    The victory saw McIntyre and his charges retain the cup following his side’s win over Rangers in last year’s final at Celtic Park but he insisted he was simply happy for his players to keep the trophy at Paradise.

    He said: “It’s not about me. It’s nice but the most important thing is seeing these young players experience success, being respectful and at the same time developing and hopefully progressing further within the club.”

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