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Lennon dismisses treble talk for Celtic

Perhaps it was because the wound caused by Ross County's 2-0 victory in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2010 has yet to heal.

But, for someone whose team sits four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League after 12 consecutive wins, Celtic manager Neil Lennon was decidedly downbeat as he looked ahead to tomorrow's League Cup semi-final against Falkirk at Hampden.

Indeed, the Celtic manager volunteered the notion that his Bhoys could lose tomorrow and again at Inverness in the Scottish Cup next weekend before they return to league action against Hearts at Tynecastle in a fortnight.

"Falkirk will come with nothing to lose," he said. "We are clear favourites but, as we've seen so many times, this game can bite back at you. It's a dangerous fixture and you wonder if their name is on it, having beaten Rangers and Dundee United along the way.

"They're a good team, unbeaten in a wee while, and play with a bit if vigour. They're a young team, well-organised, and play good football.

"Farid El Alagui has scored a lot of goals for them this season so we're going to be up against it. In these games if you're not at your best you can get done. Semi-finals are tight, tense, games because you're one step away from the final."

Celtic are the only club capable of making a clean sweep of all three domestic trophies but, with the first of the campaign in his sights, Lennon dismisses the prospect as unrealistic.

"The last team to do it at Celtic was Martin O'Neill's team in 2001, which cost a lot of money. And the last team before that was probably the Lisbon Lions, so you can see that it's almost an impossible thing to do."

Swedish defender Daniel Majstorovic comes back into contention after recovering from a fractured cheekbone sustained against St Johnstone last month.

But Nigerian midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim, signed from PSV Eindhoven, is ineligible because his international clearance has yet to arrive.

Meanwhile, Lennon claimed Real Betis striker Jorge Molina is just one of several players he is having trouble in attracting to Celtic before the transfer window closes on Tuesday. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Celtic v Falkirk, tomorrow,

Live, Setanta Sports 1, 3.0

Irish Independent