Scottish Cup: Celtic look to break Hampden jinx

Neil LENNON believes Celtic can turn around their Hampden form by ensuring they replicate their recent league performances – and with some added luck.
Neil Lennon. Picture: Phil WilkinsonNeil Lennon. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Neil Lennon. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Celtic have lost their last three games at the national stadium ahead of tomorrow’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United.

A 1-0 Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat by Kilmarnock last season was followed by a controversial late 2-1 loss to Hearts at the same stage of this competition, and Lennon’s side lost 3-2 to St Mirren in the League Cup semi-finals this term.

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The Celtic manager, whose side have also suffered defeats to Ross County and Rangers under Lennon, said: “We have done a lot of analysing this week and looked at previous encounters, where we can do better.

“Hopefully that will resonate with the players going into the game on Sunday, but I wouldn’t make too big an issue of it.

“We keep getting there, that’s the most important thing. The next step is to replicate the form we have shown going into these games at Hampden, which we haven’t done on previous occasions.”

Lennon, whose side moved within a point of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title last weekend with a 3-0 win over Hibs, added: “Having looked at the games again, we were very unlucky.

“Against Kilmarnock, their goalkeeper [Cammy Bell] had one of those games. We hit the hit the post twice against Hearts and the keeper made a couple of saves, and missed a tap-in from a yard. These things happen sometimes.

“Against St Mirren we have missed a penalty and hit the bar, but still scored two goals.

“However that was the most concerning performance – it wasn’t really us.

“But we have an appetite and hunger for the game. We would really love to win this cup.”