Admiration For Opposite Number

14 April 2013 08:41
You have to give credit where it is due, even to a rival

Neil Lennon can see former team-mate Jackie McNamara's personality in Dundee United's performances of recent weeks. McNamanra moved from Partick Thistle to United at the end of January and his side have only lost once in 11 games since. That loss was at Celtic Park but McNamara and United have a chance to make up for that when they meet Celtic at Hampden today in the second of the two William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals which will see the winners play Hibs in May. United go into the game on a high after Rory Boulding's injury-time goal earned them the win over Aberdeen that sent them into the top six of the SPL seconds before the spilt.Lennon said: "Jackie did very well at Thistle. He was an intelligent footballer and an intelligent guy and I can see why Dundee United went for him. He's starting to stamp his own personality and ideas on the way Dundee United play now. They had a great win last weekend and they'll be buoyant coming into this game off the back of that. They've had a decent run under Jackie and I think they've only lost one game and that was to us."Celtic have lost their past three games at Hampden, including last year's semi-final against Hearts, so there is little chance of them taking the game for granted. Lennon is determined to lead his team closer to the double after a 3-0 win over Hibs last weekend left them one point away from the SPL title. He said: "Semi-finals are always difficult, no matter who you're playing, as we know from previous experience. We've had a good week, we're looking forward to the game and the players are ready to go. The players have worked very hard this season and I'm hoping they get what they deserve. We played very well against Hibs last weekend and I would like to replicate that in the next two games and finish off the season deservedly as champions and in a cup final as well."

Source: ScottishFitba