Neil Lennon: Hibs must be ready for Celtic backlash at Hampden

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon
Lennon thinks his former team will be hurting after a midweek European loss
Scottish League Cup semi-final - Celtic v Hibernian
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Saturday, 21 October Kick-off: 12:15 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Head coach Neil Lennon is warning Hibernian to prepare for fired-up opponents when they meet Celtic in Saturday's League Cup semi-final.

Hibs take on Celtic at Hampden just three days after the Scottish champions were outclassed 3-0 away to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

"They will obviously be hurting after Wednesday night and there might be some sort of backlash from that," said former Celtic boss Lennon.

"We have to be ready for that."

In the last meeting between the sides at Celtic Park last month, Hibs looked at one stage like they might end Celtic's long unbeaten domestic run under Brendan Rodgers before having to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Lennon hopes his men can produce a similar performance on Saturday, but admits they may have to reach a level they have never got to before to knock out the holders.

"That's the intention," he said. "They're going to have to be at their best and hopefully catch Celtic in bad moments.

"They've got over the defeat [to Aberdeen] last week. They didn't deserve to lose the game. We've played pretty well in the last couple of games against the top two teams in the country.

"Obviously the performance at Celtic Park, while it was a good performance, will bear no significance on tomorrow, even though it's still very much fresh in the memory.

"This team are undefeated in over a year domestically so it tells you about the tall order we have in front of us, but it's not insurmountable."

Hibernian midfielder John McGinn
John McGinn scored twice in a 2-2 draw at Celtic Park last month

Motherwell face Rangers in the other semi-final on Sunday, and their manager Stephen Robinson has suggested his side and Hibs have been written off with most people expecting to see a Celtic-Rangers final.

"I think that's primarily the case the majority of the time," Lennon agreed.

"There's an expectation on the Old Firm to get to the finals. It's nothing new. It has been low key the build-up to the game, which probably suits me anyway.

"In terms of our preparation, it's been pretty good and no different to how we approach most of the games."

Hibs last won the League Cup 10 years ago and were beaten finalists in 2016, a few months before they ended a 114-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup for a third time.

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