Scottish Cup: Neil Lennon calls for Celtic 'intensity'

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Scottish Cup final

Hampden Park. Glasgow
Sunday, 26 May
15:00 BST
Watch on BBC One Scotland; listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hopes his side take the intensity that marked their recent league matches into the Scottish Cup final.

The Scottish champions face Hibernian in Sunday's Hampden showpiece.

And Lennon is calling for more of the same from his side following 4-0 wins over St Johnstone and Dundee United.

"The last two games the team has looked powerful and in the mood - great intensity - and I hope they take that into Sunday," he said.

However, the Celtic manager issued the warning that his side had been similarly impressive before defeat by St Mirren at the national stadium.

"Our previous two games have been fantastic, they've looked really hungry," he said. "But that was the same before the League Cup semi-final.

"They have to concentrate on the game and blank the crowd out, which is something we've worked on in Champions League matches."

Lennon maintained he was happy with his side's performances in cup competitions, despite a mixed record for his side at Hampden.

"We've had some difficult games along the way, made seven semi-finals and four finals, so our run in the cups has been consistent," he insisted.

"I played in plenty cup finals, but to take my team out in another is very special."

Lennon also maintained that failing to win the Scottish Cup would not make the season an anti-climax.

"We've won the league and we've progressed spectacularly well in Europe," he said. "This game is a nice bonus for us at the end of the season.

"We've had a terrific season and it would be a nice way to finish it off."

The Northern Irishman described the absence of Hibernian defender James McPake through injury as a boost for his side.

"He's the captain and I think he's made a big difference to Hibs over the past two seasons," said Lennon.

"I'm sure it'll damage Hibs more than it'll damage us. He'll be a big loss to them I'm sure."

Lennon also insisted there was equal pressure on both sides, despite his team being favourites to lift the trophy.

"There's pressure on both teams, it's a cup final and there's a trophy to be won," he said.

"I suppose we're heavy favourites going into the game, but it's all on the day - as we've seen before."

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