Thursday 22 March 2018

Matthews: 'Killie baptism was Celtic turning point'

CELTIC full-back Adam Matthews looks back to their 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock as the turning point in their season -- and he is far more confident ahead of their latest clash with the Ayrshire side.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon admitted he began to consider his future when his side were 3-0 down at Rugby Park in October, days after losing at Hearts.

But a dramatic late fightback began what would then have been an inconceivable 27-match unbeaten run in domestic football following an inconsistent start to the campaign.

A recent 20-match winning run in Scottish football has furnished Celtic with huge confidence and Matthews is determined to make that count in the Scottish League Cup final against Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Matthews said: "We came back from three down and we haven't looked back from there. That was a big turning point in our season.

"We know it's going to be a tough game, they have showed that whenever we have played them this season.

"But we are a different team than we were back then and we are fully confident we can go and win the game.


"Anything can happen on the day in a cup final. Nerves can get the better of you but we are fully confident we can win the game."

The 20-year-old believes attitude is the key difference in the Celtic team from before the Rugby Park tie to now.

"We just go into every game thinking we are going to win and that shows in our performances," said the former Cardiff player, who started Sunday's 4-0 Scottish Cup win at Tannadice. "Even against Dundee (United), we felt if we kept going we would grind them down and win the game, which we did. That's the big difference."

Kilmarnock have only won one game since their semi-final over Ayr but that came against Rangers.

And Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell believes they can upset the odds.

"Our chances are good," he said.

"Hopefully I can take my recent form into the game and stop them from scoring. It's a cup final."

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