Wednesday 13 December 2017

Lennon’s Bhoys braced for tricky Tannadice test

Lisa Gray

CELTIC face a trip to Dundee United, fifth-round conquerors of Rangers, in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup, with Neil Lennon’s men red-hot favourites to win the competition outright.

Dubliner Gavin Gunning was on target for United in their 2-0 defeat of Rangers last Sunday as they stormed into the last eight, and the Hoops can expect a tricky test at Tannadice.

But full-back Adam Matthews insists there is no extra pressure on Celtic, who overcame Inverness in the fifth round, to win the Scottish Cup now that Rangers are out of the competition.

As far as Matthews is concerned, the demand for success at Parkhead is high regardless of whether Rangers are able to mount a challenge.

“When you are at a club like Celtic, there are expectations anyway,” he said. “It doesn't matter if Rangers are in or out. The pressure is still there.

“It was there at the start of the cup and it's still there now. There are still some good teams in there and Dundee United is going to be a tough game.

“If we get through this one, we've got a good chance of progressing to the final. It's a tough draw but we're feeling confident at the moment. I think we've got a good chance of getting the result that we need.

“The result yesterday will give them great confidence but we are on a great run and I'm sure we can keep it going.

Pat Fenlon’s Hibernian side must travel to Ayr United or Falkirk, who will contest their fifth-round clash on February 15 after last Saturday's tie was postponed when the Somerset Park pitch failed a morning inspection.

Ayr boss Brian Reid was reluctant to look beyond the meeting with the Bairns.

“It would be a bit disrespectful to look to Hibs at the moment because we have got a tough game against Falkirk,” he said.

“That will be a tough game on its own.”

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