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Celtic out to end Hampden hoodoo in Scottish Cup semi

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14 Apr 2013 01:16:56

Celtic out to end Hampden hoodoo in Scottish Cup semi

Emilio Izaguirre admits Celtic are determined to end their Hampden hoodoo when they face Dundee United in their Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday.

The Hoops have suffered heartbreak in their past three trips to the national stadium and the Celtic defender says his team-mates have all the motivation they need to end this dismal run.

Neil Lennon's side lost 3-2 St Mirren on their last visit to the national stadium in the League Cup semi-finals in January, and suffered a similar fate there against Kilmarnock, in the League Cup final, and Hearts, in the Scottish Cup semis, last season.

But, far from dreading Sunday's appearance at the same venue, the Honduran international insists the players are relishing making a return to finally banish the hurt that has been festering since St Mirren denied them a shot at a domestic treble.

"We treat every game as a final anyway but we really want to win this one as we haven't won in the last three games at Hampden, so this is a real incentive for all the players," Izaguirre said.

"This is football, sometimes it happens, but it just makes us more determined to win this one so hopefully it will be a positive for us.

"We have to go with a mentality that we are going to win and trust God that it will happen."

The Hoops are just one point away from clinching the Scottish Premier League title and a win against Jackie McNamara's side would take them a step closer to securing a first double for manager Lennon.

"We really want to win the double," Izaguirre continued. "It's really important for us and that's why I have faith in God that we will do it.

"Obviously, we want to win everything at the start of the season, which is the three trophies. We now only have two to win and we really want to win them both, and this is our mentality.

"It is the mindset of every player at Celtic, especially as we are a big club and want to win every competition we enter."

United, who won the Scottish Cup in 2010, are on a high after Rory Boulding's last-gasp strike against Aberdeen last weekend clinched them a place in the top six of the SPL.

And the striker is hoping to continue his goal-scoring form against the Parkhead side on Sunday.

"Hopefully I can get a few more for United, starting on Sunday. If I get on the pitch I will definitely be looking to find the back of the net," Englishman Boulding said.

"I am sure there will be a big crowd and a fantastic atmosphere.

"The pitch is big and the playing surface looks amazing so I am just looking forward to getting there."

In the other semi-final, played on Saturday, Leigh Griffiths scored a sensational extra-time winner as Hibernian fought from three goals down to seal a remarkable 4-3 win over First Division Falkirk to reach the final.


AFP

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