Lennon wants silver finish to troubled season

Updated: 20 May 2011 15:21 IST

A season Neil Lennon will soon want to forget could end with the rookie Celtic manager earning his first piece of silverware if his side can overcome Motherwell in Saturday's Scottish Cup final.

Lennon wants silver finish to troubled season

Glasgow:

A season Neil Lennon will soon want to forget could end with the rookie Celtic manager earning his first piece of silverware if his side can overcome Motherwell in Saturday's Scottish Cup final.


The Hoops boss has been at the center of a number of controversies both on and off the pitch this season facing parcel bombs, death threats and an attack from a fan at Hearts.

The former Celtic captain has also had to watch as Old Firm rivals Rangers clinched their third league championship in a row and lost out to Walter Smith's side in the League Cup final.

However Lennon has the chance to end his first full season in charge of Celtic with a trophy if he can triumph against Motherwell.

The Northern Irishman is on a rolling one-year contract at the Parkhead club and has already stated that even victory in the final might not ensure he would be at the helm next season.

But winger James Forrest, who was handed his debut by Lennon, said the Celtic players would be going all out to clinch the cup and boost their manager's job prospects.

"You don't like anybody to go through what he's been through but he has dealt with it brilliantly," the winger, who received his first call-up from Scotland this week, said.

"All the players want to win it for him. The boss gave me my debut last season and he has shown faith in me to play me this year. If it wasn't for him, I don't know where I would be now."

"It's the same with all the boys in the team - everybody is 100 per cent behind him."

Teammate Georgios Samaras says Celtic have been unlucky not to have won anything so far.

"We have had a good season," the Greek striker said. "We were a bit unlucky in the League Cup and the Premier League."

"When you play in the League Cup final and lose it and you lose the title by one point - when 92 points would have been enough in past years - then you are a bit unlucky, that is the obvious thing."

"But that has gone and you have to look forward and be ready for Saturday and we need to finish well with a trophy, if possible."

Lennon will hope he can overcome his managerial Hampden hoodoo and make amends for last year's Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to First Division minnows Ross County.

Joe Ledley and Cha Du-Ri will miss out through injury but Kris Commons will return from suspension.

Motherwell will be playing in their first Scottish Cup final for 20 years, when they triumphed 4-3 in a thrilling game against Dundee United.

However their last final appearance at Hampden ended in disaster when they were on the receiving end of a 5-1 thrashing from Rangers in the 2005 League Cup final.

Motherwell defender Maurice Ross, who was part of the Rangers team who triumphed that day, said his new side's best chance of victory depended on a bright start at the national stadium.

"It's definitely all about how we start the game. We need to start really positive and bright and take the game to Celtic," he said.

"Celtic are a great side and everyone is comfy on the ball, and if you allow them to get in their rhythm you will slowly be pinned back. We need to get right in about them, get ourselves as high up the park as possible, be brave and take the game to them."

Saturday (1400GMT)

Scottish Cup final

Motherwell v Celtic



Topics : Football Celtic
Related Articles
FIFA Club World Cup Set to Begin Under The Shadow of Chapecoense Plane Tragedy
FIFA Club World Cup Set to Begin Under The Shadow of Chapecoense Plane Tragedy
Real Madrid Demand Respect For 'Exemplary' Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid Demand Respect For 'Exemplary' Cristiano Ronaldo
Champions League: Arsenal Seal Top Spot, Bayern Munich Beat Atletico Madrid
Champions League: Arsenal Seal Top Spot, Bayern Munich Beat Atletico Madrid
Show Comments
Advertisement