Lennon gets Buddies reunion he hoped for

Joe McHugh

Neil Lennon was granted his Scottish Cup wish – a quarter-final tie with St Mirren.

Last Sunday the Paisley side ended Celtic's treble hopes with a 3-2 win at Hampden in the semi-final of the League Cup, with yesterday's draw bringing the the two teams together again in the Scottish Cup.

Most managers settle for the standard quote of being delighted to be in the draw and hoping for a home tie but Lennon broke with that convention yesterday after watching Celtic beat Raith Rovers 3-0 to make it into the last eight.

"We're in the next round and I hope we get St Mirren," he stated.

"I'll be looking forward to it if we do."

Celtic endured a goal-less first half away to First Division Raith before coming good with goals from Kris Commons, James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew.

Lennon and his squad have come under scrutiny from critics and fans alike after losing to St Mirren in a display that the Hoops manager described as soulless.

In eight days' time Celtic face Juventus in the Champions League with the entire squad battling to be involved.

A penalty from Commons secured Celtic's place in the last 16 of the competition with the former Nottingham Forest man scoring from the penalty spot again yesterday.

Celtic have been haunted by penalty misses in recent seasons but Commons is happy to take on the role of penalty taker.

"I said before the game I'd take the penalties," he admitted. "I've scored my last two and I think their keeper has analysed my penalties a little too much.

"He didn't move an inch when I hit it, but that gave us a little bit of a cushion to go on and win."