On paper, Celtic’s Betfred Cup Final against Rangers on Sunday is far bigger than Wednesday night’s league game against Hamilton. It is a cup final, and the chance for the Hoops to put one over on their biggest rivals, and win their 10th domestic trophy in a row.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon doesn’t see it that way though. He has demanded of his players that they focus all their attention on the Hamilton game. He has stressed that to his players, and confirmed that the league title remains Celtic’s top priority.
“Well, as far as we’re concerned it won’t, and we have made that clear to the players yesterday and today” Lennon said, as reported by Sky Sports, when asked if the cup final was casting a shadow over the Hamilton game.
“The league is the priority”
“The league is the priority and the season doesn’t end on Sunday whether we win the cup or not.”
The Hamilton fixture is a vital one for the Hoops. They will want to pick up the three points and score a few goals to ensure that they stop top of the league, that would be a boost going into the cup final.
It is interesting that Lennon told his players two days in a row about the importance of the Hamilton game. Naturally thoughts will have been turning towards the cup final, but Lennon is obviously trying to end that, for the moment.
Thoughts can turn to cup final after final whistle
As soon as the final whistle blows against Hamilton on Wednesday night, all attention will turn to Sunday’s game at Hampden.
That is more than acceptable, as fans and players and the Hoops management will be eagerly awaiting the game. Before that though, it is all about getting the three points against Hamilton. Thankfully the majority of the Hoops squad is experienced enough to take one game at a time, and not consider looking ahead.
If they were considering looking ahead to the final, judging by Lennon’s comments he has put a stop to that.