Hot-shot Hooper calls for Celtic consistency

On-form striker Gary Hooper says he is ready to inspire Celtic to the Scottish Premier League title as his side prepares for the visit of St Mirren to Parkhead on Saturday.

Updated: April 08, 2011 09:51 IST
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Glasgow: On-form striker Gary Hooper says he is ready to inspire Celtic to the Scottish Premier League title as his side prepares for the visit of St Mirren to Parkhead on Saturday.

The English striker scored a double in the midweek 3-1 win against Hibernian as the Hoops reclaimed top spot, which Rangers briefly held for 24 hours for the first time in 2011.

A win against second-bottom St Mirren could take them five points clear of Rangers before they play Hamilton on Sunday.

And Hooper, who has now scored 17 goals in his debut season in Scotland, says he is back to top form after the international break and aims to score the goals that will help Celtic clinch the title.

"We need to win every game between now and the end of the season and that's our focus," said Hooper.

"We're back at the top of the league and we're out to win all the games we have left."

"We play before Rangers this weekend when we face St Mirren and if we play on Saturday as we did in the first half against Hibs we should hopefully put more pressure on them."

"Everyone is fresh and sharp again following the break for international games and the postponement at Inverness."

"I also felt sharper against Hibs, stronger and quicker, and it showed in my performance. From a team point of view it was one of our best performances of the season and we must keep that standard up."

Daniel Majstorovic will miss out through injury but Shaun Maloney may be available after a long absence.

Rangers have had to cope without several key players in recent weeks due to injury concerns.

But Kyle Lafferty, who scored in the midweek win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, says that despite last weekend's reverse to Dundee United the squad is more than capable of going on a winning run as they look to clinch their third consecutive league title.

"We just have to go out and win every game we can. There are nine games left and we know that if win them, we'll win the league," the Northern Ireland international said.

"I think we're more than capable of doing that. With the way we play, it's going to take a very good team to beat us.

"Saturday was disappointing but we knew even after that that we had 10 games to go and things were still in our own hands.

"If we can continue showing the same battling qualities we showed at McDiarmid Park, I'm confident we'll do well in the rest of our games."

Elsewhere on Saturday, high-flying Hearts host Motherwell at Tynecastle. The Jambos have a host of injury concerns as they face a Motherwell side that need a win to make certain of a top six finish.

Dundee United welcome St Johnstone to Tannadice hoping to making it seven league wins in a row as they chase a European spot.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle travel to Rugby Park to take on Kilmarnock knowing they must win the next three games to have any chance of finishing in the top half of the table.

Aberdeen and Hibernian clash at Pittodrie after both sides' slim hopes of finishing in the top six were dashed by midweek defeats.



Aberdeen v Hibernian, Celtic v St Mirren, Dundee United v St Johnstone, Hearts v Motherwell, Kilmarnock v Inverness CT


Hamilton v Rangers (1145)

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