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Saturday 3 December 2016

'We can cope with Cup clash'

Celtic’s Nir Bitton is hoping the Bhoys hit form against Rangers Photo: PA
Celtic’s Nir Bitton is hoping the Bhoys hit form against Rangers Photo: PA

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon says that the Bhoys have what it takes to deal with the pressure in Sunday's Old Firm clash in the Scottish Cup.

The players at Parkhead have been denied their derby games of late due to Rangers' demotion to the lower tiers, and while the Ibrox side will be back in the SPL next season, this Cup game between the sides will have to do.

Celtic will be seen as favourites but Gordon, who hopes to make his 100th appearance for the team on Sunday, insists that Ronny Deila's players can cope as they aim for a treble in what has been seen as a disappointing one, leaving boss Deila under pressure to retain his post for next season.

"I don't think form matters. It's all about who plays on the day," says Gordon.

"We've been to Hampden and played in semi-finals and not got the right result we wanted over the last couple of years so we know we have to go there and perform if we're to get the right result.

"You just enjoy it and don't think about it too much. It's a game of football and it's certainly one that we want to win.

"I enjoy the pressure that it brings and the derby aspect is something that, no matter what club you're playing for, is the biggest game so I look forward to it and hopefully we can get another win," added Gordon.

Cup success, the aim for a treble and of course the chance to get one over on their rivals are the attractions for Celtic but Sunday is also a big day for Gordon, a century of appearances.

"It's a good one to bring me up the 100th with. It's a good achievement to get to 100 already as it's not even two seasons into my time here," he says.

"I've played a lot of games here in a short space of time so it's something to be proud of, especially from where I've come from. I'm happy with that but let's hope I can mark that occasion with a good result.

"That's what we're aiming for, and that's what I'd like to see at the end of it.

"Regardless of what game it is, you want to go to Hampden and win so it'd be nice to be able to look back on my 100th game and have a victory behind me."

Midfielder Nir Bitton hopes the Bhoys have hit form in time for the Hampden clash.

"It's a big game and every player in the world wants to play in these types of games." he says.

"Everyone in the club is looking forward to it and we want to finish the season with a double.

"We are in a very good position. We are in a good place right now and we just want to keep going and win as much as we can and hopefully we can get into the cup final and finish with the two trophies," added the Israeli international.

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