Bobby Petta: Scottish Cup win is a must to save Celtic's season

BOBBY PETTA has urged Neil Lennon to deliver the Active Nation Scottish Cup and ensure the season is not a total write-off for Celtic.

The former Hoops winger (above) knows there is little hope of preventing Rangers, who hold a 13-point lead at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, from securing a second successive title.

That means interim manager Lennon's task is to win as many games as possible between now and the end of the season and finish a disappointing campaign on a high with silverware in the shape of the Scottish Cup.

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Petta said: "There are always high expectations when you play for Celtic.

"You have good times but you will also have some bad times and it's not really been a great time for them.

"But things are on the up and hopefully they can end the season on a high by winning the Scottish Cup and take some positives from the season."

Petta added: "Neil has to do it for himself but also for the players, for the club and for the fans.

"He's got to win this cup and at least finish the season on a high with some positives because people have been focusing on all the negatives."

As for whether he thinks his former team-mate will land the job on a permanent basis, Petta said: "It's up to the board to make that decision.

"They just have to see how he finishes the season and take it from there. I hope he does get it. He says it how it is. There is no beating around the bush with him and that's what I like.

"He was very close to Martin O'Neill and I'm sure he has picked up some things from him.

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"He has his own personality as well and, as a player, he always kept you on your toes."

Meanwhile, Ross County goalkeeper Michael McGovern has issued a rallying call to his team-mates ahead of tomorrow's semi-final, insisting: "shocks happen".

County have already toppled SPL opponents in both cups this term, having knocked Hamilton out of the Co-operative Insurance Cup and shocked Hibernian 2-1 with a dramatic last-minute winner in their Scottish Cup quarter-final replay in Dingwall last month.

Now McGovern will get the chance to test himself against his former side at Hampden and he is relishing the opportunity.

He said: "We're going into the game as massive underdogs but on the day it's 11 versus 11 – shocks happen.

"We'll be hoping Celtic don't play to their full potential on the day and we play to ours."

He added: "I think they've definitely got a lift since Neil Lennon's taken over.

"You can see in their last couple of victories they have been harder to beat.

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"There is always a positive reaction when a new manager comes in.

"From our point of view, it makes it more difficult for us but, even if there hadn't been a change, it would be a tough game anyway."