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Hoops boss happy ahead of cup date

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Celtic’s Tom Rogic (right) and Livingston’s Shaun Byrne battle for possession

Celtic’s Tom Rogic (right) and Livingston’s Shaun Byrne battle for possession

PA

Celtic’s Tom Rogic (right) and Livingston’s Shaun Byrne battle for possession

Celtic manager Neil Lennon feels several key players will benefit from playing in Saturday's goalless draw with Livingston as they prepare for their latest Hampden clash with Aberdeen.

The Hoops suffered a minor blow in their bid to wrap up the Premiership title as Livingston, and goalkeeper Liam Kelly in particular, put on an impressive defensive show at Parkhead.

Lennon's side lost some tempo after the interval but he took some positives after the game.

Tom Rogic made his first Celtic start of the year after a knee injury and Ryan Christie continued his comeback from a hamstring injury after netting against St Mirren days earlier.

Defender Filip Benkovic also got on the park in the second half as he works his way back to fitness.

The Celtic manager has given himself more options for next Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final and, with last weekend's win over Rangers all but securing the title, the Hampden clash could be the key game in the champions' bid for a treble treble.

Lennon said: "I was looking for the likes of Rogic, Christie, Benkovic to get game time.

"We have rotated the squad a lot this week, we made four changes the other night, more changes today and changed formation as well just to freshen things up.

"The likes of (Olivier) Ntcham had a long time out and he's played two games, we had Jozo (Simunovic) coming back as well.

"It's been difficult to get continuity in team selection but three games in six days has been a big ask for the players. I had to make a few changes for the benefit of the long term.

"It will be good to have a couple of days off to rest and recover and then focus on the semi-final."

Christie forced two of a string of saves from Kelly and the midfielder hopes to have played himself into contention for the semi-final.