Saturday 20 January 2018

Kamara: Hoops had to take second chance

Diomansy Kamara admits second spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League was a necessity for Celtic following their shock Active Nation Scottish Cup exit to Ross County.

This month's 2-0 defeat against the Irn-Bru First Division side at Hampden ended any realistic hopes of the Parkhead club winning a trophy this season and dented the chances of interim boss Neil Lennon getting the job on a permanent basis.

However, recent weeks have shown a marked improvement and a fifth SPL win in a row against Dundee United at Tannadice yesterday confirmed second place behind champions Rangers.

Kamara scored the opening for the visitors and a late Robbie Keane penalty ended United's hopes of leapfrogging the Hoops in the final weeks of the season.

"We won't win a trophy this season but I think we have a good squad," Kamara said.

"The target was to get to the final of the Scottish Cup but we lost the semi-final.

"The target then was to qualify for the Champions League and we have qualified.

"I think the performance against United was terrific.

"We played well against a good team, beat them and left them 10 points behind.

"So we have qualified for the Champions League and that is the most important thing."

On another day, Kamara may have had a hat-trick but the wide midfielder was simply glad to take all three points.

He said: "I had a few chances. I scored one and missed a good chance at the start of the second half but the most important thing was to win the game."

United boss Peter Houston and Lennon were at loggerheads after the Irishman claimed only his side wanted to win the rather tetchy game.

Houston also claimed referee Iain Brines sent off substitute Jennison Myrie-Williams by mistake, believing him to be Prince Buaben when he handed out his second yellow card.

Kamara, on loan from Fulham, admits the encounter was a bit more physical than he would have liked.

"Dundee United are a very good team and they wanted to beat us," he said.

"It was a good Scottish game and I enjoyed it.

"There were eight or nine yellow cards and a red card but English and Scottish football is physical.

"I think it was too physical but the most important thing that we won the game."

Press Association

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