Monday 23 October 2017

Saints set sights on shocking Celtic again

Lisa Gray and Ronnie Esplin

Frazer Wright hopes history is set to repeat itself after St Johnstone were paired with Celtic in the Scottish League Cup.

Saints stunned Neil Lennon's men with an impressive 2-1 win in the Scottish Premier League at McDiarmid Park last month and have not looked back since picking up what was their first victory of the season.

The Perth club face an even tougher task as they prepare to travel to the east end of Glasgow for the fourth round tie at the end of the month.

Wright acknowledged how difficult a challenge they face, but the defender believes the Saints can take confidence from their previous success against the Hoops.

"It was probably one of the hardest draws we could have got in this round but it's happened now and we just need to go there and hopefully get a result," Wright said.

"Going to Parkhead is always hard, but we have gone on a run since beating Celtic -- hopefully, we can do it again and get a result in the cup too.

"You can see from our recent results how much confidence we have taken from the Celtic game.

"We hadn't won a game all season and now we have won four in a row. Other than the Aberdeen game, we had been playing well and just not getting the results.

"Going into a game against Celtic in the league position we were in, people weren't expecting anything.

"Maybe there was a bit of pressure off us because of that and we managed to get the result.


"We have taken massive confidence and hopefully we can build on it."

Kilmarnock triumphed over Celtic in the final to claim the trophy last year. And, although having to overcome the Hoops at an earlier stage, Wright would love to see Saints emulate his old club this time around.

"Kilmarnock ended up winning it last year after going on a good run. We just need to see how far we can get," he added. "They beat Celtic in the final and, hopefully, we can beat them too."

Meanwhile, St Mirren boss Danny Lennon wants to see his side finally book their place in the last four of the competition after being drawn away to Aberdeen.

He said: "We are delighted to be in the quarter-finals, it is the fourth attempt in trying to reach the semi-finals and we look forward to that.

"There are no easy games and everyone will be out with the same challenge of making it to Hampden.

"We have had some very close encounters with Aberdeen and this has the makings of a real game in terms of the quality we both have.

"We are very much inspired by what Kilmarnock did last year against Celtic and we would like to give that excitement and prestige to our wonderful supporters."

Both of those ties will take place on October 30, with Rangers hosting Inverness and Hearts travelling to Dundee United the following evening.

Irish Independent

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