In today’s rumour mill: As Celtic win the Scottish Cup, Neil Lennon reveals his pre-match nerves, Gary Hooper’s performance is praised and Kris Commons explains his family focus; meanwhile Pat Fenlon hails Hibs’ improvement, Stuart McCall is to stay on at Motherwell, and Nicky Clark says he is ready for Rangers.
Lennon relieved after nervous morning
After seeing his men beat Hibs 3-0 in yesterday’s Scottish Cup final, Neil Lennon looked a relieved figure.
Despite his team being the favourites to win, the Celtic manager has revealed that the nerves were getting to him on the day. He said yesterday:
“I felt so nervous this morning, and all the way during the game, really.
“Just the weight of expectation riding on the game. Obviously we didn’t want to be the team that broke the hoodoo for Hibs as well and have that thrown at us. Our form at Hampden has been a bit patchy, but the players today were excellent.”
Yesterday’s win has made Lennon the third man in Celtic’s 125-year history to win the double as both player and manager.
Super Hooper the ‘master’
Lennon was quick to compliment double goalscorer Gary Hooper, who he has dubbed an ‘absolute master’.
Having struck twice in the first half-hour of the match, Hooper did his fair share to help Celtic lift the Scottish Cup for a record 36th time.
Family first for Kris Commons
Kris Commons has talked about his decision to retire from the Scotland squad.
The 29-year-old has revealed that he looks to put family first, limiting the number of professional commitments that require him to spend time away from home.
He explained that it sunk in when his son was in hospital while he was away in a hotel with the Scotland team.
He said: “I had to come away from the squad because I’m a dad and I need to put my family first.”
No comparison with last year says Fenlon
Though Hibs did not manage to break their drought in the Scottish Cup, Pat Fenlon reflected on the improvement his team have made over the past year.
Fenlon said yesterday: “There is no comparison with how we felt last year. I’m bitterly dissapointed that we lost a cup final, but I can’t ask any more of my players - or the supporters - today. They were tremendous.”
McGivern hails Hibs resilience
Ryan McGivern has credited his team mates for avoiding an all-out cup-final-collapse against Celtic.
“Going 2-0 down to Celtic we could have let the heads drop and collapsed so it became five or six.
“So credit to the lads because we kept at it. I don’t think we were disgraced or embarrased here.”
Motherwell to keep McCall
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has rejected a move to Sheffield United, and is to stay at Fir Park, according to reports.
Clark ready for Gers
Nicky Clark has said that he feels he is ready for Rangers, as he hopes to seal his move to the club before going on holiday on Tuesday.
According to The Scottish Sun, the 21-year-old has said that things are still progressing with Rangers.
He said: “Rangers are a massive club, but I feel I’m ready and can handle that.”