Complacency and Hampden hoodoo threaten Treble bid

CELTIC have got a result from drawing Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League.

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Danny Lennon will want to stop Celtic reaching the final
Danny Lennon will want to stop Celtic reaching the final

The ties have grabbed so much attention, no-one is talking about the Treble, which is very much on.

This time last year, it was a different story, and the pressure eventually told when they got to the League Cup final and lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock.

Kenny Shiels admits he tried to mention the Treble every time he could in the build-up because he knew it would make Celtic more nervous on the day.

A few weeks later, the Scottish Cup also slipped away from Neil Lennon and his players when they lost their semi-final to Hearts.

On Sunday, they return to Hampden for the first time since those bitter disappointments to face St Mirren in the semi-final of the League Cup.

Celtic are overwhelming favourites, but semi-finals can be tricky affairs – just look at what happened to Aston Villa and Chelsea this week.

St Mirren have not even scored a goal against Celtic in the eight games Danny Lennon has been in charge – most recently when they lost 2-0 at Parkhead, and got so much criticism for their defensive tactics.

I'm sure my local team will not be so negative on Sunday, but the biggest threat to Celtic will be complacency.

This is a big game but, because of Europe, it's nowhere near the biggest in their fixture list.

However, it would take on much more significance if they were to lose.

No game at Hampden is ever a gimme – and I speak from bitter experience.

I was part of the Celtic side that thought we had won the 1971 League Cup final against Partick Thistle before a ball was kicked, only to find ourselves on the end of a 4-1 defeat when the final whistle blew.

I've been invited to take my family along to Celtic Park for Wednesday's game against Kilmarnock because I turn 65 the day before. Let's hope we can also celebrate Celtic reaching the first final of the season.

retail

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