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Heat Of Cup Battle Will Warm Fans Tonight
Published : 12 Dec 2012 14:47:29
Celtic will want to stay involved in the Scottish Cup while not expending too much energy.
Celtic head to Gayfield Park tonight hoping that the outcome of the Scottish Cup replay against Arbroath will see them still interested in the competition. Manager Neil Lennon has enjoyed his side's recent good form which say them qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League last week with a dramatic 2-1 home win over Spartak Moscow. The league form has not been too bad either as they returned to the bread and butter stuff with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday to take them three points clear of Inverness at the top of the SPL with a game in hand. Thanks to a late goal from Steven Doris, the Red Lichties snatched an unlikely 1-1 draw at Celtic Park in the first game, but the Parkhead manager wants his side to take care of business at the second time of asking. He said: "We are taking this game very seriously. It is a different competition but one where we have had no recent success and we would like to progress so it is another important game. The way things have been going in the last week to 10 days, you want to keep that feel-good factor going and this is potentially very dangerous. I have been on the end of a few cup upsets as a player and a manager and I don't want that to happen tonight." Lennon knows his players will have to adapt to conditions when they take to the field tonight. Arbroath's ground cannot compete with the facilities enjoyed by celtic on their recent travels to stadiumssuch as the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spartak Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium and Benfica's Stadium of Light in Lisbon. However, both sides have to deal with what the weather has done to the pitch tonight. The former Celtic captain said: "It will be a new experience for me going to Arbroath and for most of the players as well. But in the last couple of years we have been at Berwick and Peterhead (in the cup) so we know the attitude has to be right. I don't know what the conditions will be like so we will have to adapt to them as best we can and play accordingly."