FROM NEIL DOHERTY IN GLASGOW: CELTIC take on Kilmarnock in today’s Scottish League Cup Final at Hampden with manager Neil wanting his players to remember the pain of last year’s League Cup final defeat to Rangers.
There are quite a few fans from Co Donegal in Glasgow this weekend and they will add to the unique atmosphere – the game is live on BBC1 Scotland for those of you who didn’t make it.
Last year Celtic lost 2-1 to their Old Firm rivals in extra-time at the national stadium which prevented them ultimately winning a cup double.
Celtic are strong favourites – but Neil Lennon is warning against complacency.
“I can use a lot of games to motivate the players, none more so than the cup final this time last year,” he said.
“I think that will be a motivation itself.
“But we have our own reasons for winning the cup and hopefully the players will concentrate on that.
“Kilmarnock are a good team and Kenny (Shiels) has done remarkably well given some of the players they lost from last season.
“I thought he might struggle with (former manager) Mixu Paatelainen leaving and the way they finished the season but they haven’t at all, they have actually improved.
“They are in a decent position in the league and they are in a cup final so a lot of credit must go to Kenny and (assistant) Jimmy Nicholl for that.”
The Celtic manager has had a rough week, following the death of friend Paul McBride and that ongoing court case involving alleged threats against him.
Now he faces the tough task of picking a side.
“Unlike the SPL games, we only have five substitutes instead of seven so there will be two berths that won’t be there,” he said.
“The majority of the team picks itself and the rest will probably be a little bit of a tactical selection more than anything else.
“There will be players disappointed that they won’t be starting the game but the team that starts won’t necessarily be the team that ends the game.”
Lennon has left nothing to chance, revealing that his players have been practising penalties in case the match goes all the way.
“They were practising on Friday but we are hoping it doesn’t go to that,” he said.
“If it does the players will be well prepared for it but it’s all on that moment and how they are feeling themselves – I’m glad I won’t be in that position myself.”
* LIVE BBC1 SCOTLAND, KICK-OFF 3PM
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