Friday 20 January 2017

Title remains Lennon's aim

Published 29/01/2012 | 05:00

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has reiterated his priority of a title win ahead of today's Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final against Falkirk at Hampden Park.

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The Hoops are sitting at the top of the Scottish Premier League and awaiting a trip to Inverness in the Scottish Cup next Saturday.

With 12 successive SPL wins under their belt, Lennon's men are expected to take care of the First Division side to keep them on track for the treble.

"I wouldn't set my expectation level too high,'' said the former Celtic skipper. "The team I played in [that won the treble in 2001], it was the first time in 30 years so it is a very difficult thing to do.

"The title is the priority. If we finish with the title and nothing else then that's a good season for me."

However, Lennon denied the League Cup could sidetrack his players and is keen to avoid a repeat of their shock Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to First Division Ross County in 2010 when he was interim boss.

"It is important that we try to get to the final and go on to win it because to have that first trophy would set the season up very well.

"We have another cup game following on from this one and by the time we play Hearts we could be out of two competitions. So we have to be very concentrated over the next week or so.''

In yesterday's first semi-final, Dean Shiels' extra-time winner took Kilmarnock past Ayr United at Hampden.

Shiels broke the deadlock in the 109th minute when he drove low into the corner.

Former Republic of Ireland international Colin Healy has returned to play with Cork City. The 31-year-old trained with the club yesterday morning at the Fota Island Resort. He was released by Ipswich Town in November and has been a free agent since.

The midfielder played with Cork City between 2007 and 2009 following spells at Celtic and Sunderland before making the move to Ipswich in 2009. He has 13 caps for Ireland and was close to making the 2002 World Cup squad.

Rangers moved to within a point of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League with a convincing 4-0 win against Pat Fenlon's Hibernian at Ibrox Park.

Skipper Steven Davis claimed a double and David Healy and Sone Aluko grabbed a goal apiece against 10-man Hibs.

The tie proved to be a maiden bow to forget for James McPake who was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Edu after 71 minutes.

Kevin Phillips converted an injury-time penalty to keep Blackpool's hopes of a place in the FA Cup fifth round for the first time in 22 years alive.

Sheffield Wednesday broke the deadlock seven minutes after the interval through former Republic of Ireland international Clinton Morrison.

Wednesday appeared to be holding out in relative comfort until Danny Batth brought down Gary Taylor-Fletcher in the first minute of stoppage time.

Veteran striker Phillips made no mistake to ensure Ian Holloway's Championship side will get another crack at their League One opponents, who dumped them out of the Carling Cup on penalties in August.

Adam Rooney's double helped Birmingham cruise through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory as Sheffield United's eight-match winning run at Bramall Lane came to a shuddering halt.

The 23-year-old Irishman struck seven minutes before half-time, after Birmingham teenager Nathan Redmond had scored against the run of play in the 18th minute.

Wade Elliott added a third for the Championship side and Rooney wrapped up the contest in the 78th minute.

Jermaine Beckford continued his incredible scoring run in the FA Cup with a brace to help Leicester into the fifth round.

Beckford struck at the beginning of each half to take his tally to 14 goals in as many games in the competition.

Swindon took their time to settle but once they did they played the type of football that has made them League Two promotion contenders under Paolo Di Canio.

In the end though, Leicester's superior know-how came to the fore to ensure there was no upset at the King Power Stadium.

Millwall earn late replay

Darius Henderson's seventh goal in three games earned Millwall a replay in their FA Cup fourth round clash with Southampton.

Rickie Lambert, returning from suspension, put the visitors ahead before the interval, but the Lions fought back late on.

Sunday Indo Sport

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