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Lennon: Scottish football alive and well

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit out at critics of Scottish football after his side’s thrilling 4-3 win over Dundee United in the Scottish Cup.

Both cup semi-finals finished with 4-3 scorelines after extra-time, with Hibs coming from 3-0 down to defeat Falkirk on Saturday.

Celtic, meanwhile, needed an extra-time goal from Anthony Stokes to seal their place in the final, after Dundee United twice came from behind to force extra time on Sunday.

Lennon was pleased not only with the victory, but also with the quality on display, and he took a swipe at those critical of football in Scotland.

“It was brilliant and both teams covered themselves in glory,” Lennon told the BBC.

“What’s the problem? It’s not caused by clubs like Dundee United or ourselves, it’s people on the outside wanting to batter the game all the time.”

“It’s great to talk about the football.

“Everyone wants to talk about all the other problems but we don’t create them. There’s a lot of good people who want to do things right for the game.

“People say the quality of football isn’t great. I go down the road and watch English games and there’s far better players playing here, trust me.”

Celtic look on track for a domestic double – needing just one point to lift their second successive Scottish Premier League title – and facing a May showdown with Hibs for the cup.

Lennon said he would give the payers time off to freshen up ahead of the final.

“We can really kick back and enjoy the next few weeks. It’s been a pivotal season, a monumental season in a lot of ways for the club,” he said.

“What I will do is give some players time off between now and the cup final because we’ll need to give them some rest.”

Sun 14 April, 2013
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