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Celtic have revenge in their Hearts - Cha Du-Ri
Published : 09 Dec 2011 01:46:49
Celtic defender Cha Du-Ri says he is looking for revenge when his side take on Hearts this weekend as the Hoops aim to keep up the pressure on Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers.
The Hoops have been in fine form of late with five league wins in a row cutting the gap with their Old Firm rivals to just four points.
However, Neil Lennon's side lost 2-0 when they last faced Hearts in October and South Korean international Cha knows the importance of keeping their winning run going as they head towards an Old Firm derby at the end of December.
"We have to beat Hearts because we lost the first game against them," Cha said.
"That will give the players even more motivation and I think the first half will be very important.
"We are at home too so I hope we can use that to our advantage. It is always difficult going there so we want to make it just as tough for them to come to our stadium.
"In the last few games we have played very well and picked up some important points.
"At the same time Rangers have dropped points so we have managed to close the gap and it makes the game at the end of the month a very big one.
"But before that I hope we have enough to see out the next few games to keep this run going."
Celtic's long injury list has been easing up recently but Welsh midfielder Joe Ledley has been ruled out of the match with Hearts after suffering an ankle injury.
Glasgow rivals Rangers could open a seven point gap and heap the pressure on the Hoops if they defeat Hibernian in the early kick-off match on Saturday.
The Gers got back to winning ways last weekend when they dispatched Dunfermline 2-1 at Ibrox.
However, manager Ally McCoist will be without new signing Sone Aluko after a Scottish Football Association tribunal banned the winger for two games for simulation in that match.
And teammate Steven Whittaker says Aluko will be a loss as they prepare to take on Hibs at Easter Road.
"We're obviously disappointed with the news about Sone, he's been a great player for us since he has come in and looked lively," Whittaker said.
"He's brought a spark to the team which has perhaps been missing.
"He's creative and has set up a couple of goals so we look forward to seeing more of him.
"But we have players waiting on the bench to get their chance and I'm sure whoever comes in will be desperate to put in a good performance.
"We're all looking forward to the weekend.
"It will not be easy against Hibs, having a new manager will give them a boost especially as it's his first home game in charge there.
"It will be a difficult one but we have done well in the past there and I hope we can keep that run going on Saturday."
Elsewhere bottom of the table Aberdeen face St Mirren at Pittodrie, Inverness Caledonian Thistle could leapfrog opponents Dundee United, Dunfermline welcome Kilmarnock and St Johnstone have the chance to close in on Motherwell in third when they take on Stuart McCall's side at McDiarmid Park.
Fixtures (1500 unless otherwise stated)
Hibernian v Rangers (1230), Aberdeen v St Mirren, Celtic v Hearts, Dunfermline v Kilmarnock, Inverness CT v Dundee United, St Johnstone v Motherwell