Samaras confident in Hoops

Georgios Samaras believes Celtic can handle a tense Scottish Premier League finish after the Hoops piled the pressure on to rivals Rangers by beating Dundee United 2-1 on Tuesday.

The Greek striker pounced seven minutes after the break to make it 2-0 after Dutchman Glenn Loovens had headed Celtic into a first-half lead. But a David Robertson goal set up a frantic finish with Celtic doing just enough to cling on to the three points despite facing an onslaught from a determined United side at Parkhead.

The win sent Celtic one point clear of Rangers ahead of their Old Firm rivals' trip to Hibernian later today. The Hoops had to battle hard to defeat United for the first time in the league this season and claim a much-needed boost after they lost their long-held position at the top of the table when Rangers triumphed 1-0 in Saturday's Glasgow derby.

Gordon Strachan's side now face an away trip to Hibs before finishing their league campaign with a home tie against their Edinburgh rivals Hearts. And Samaras believes the league is far from over and says United could pose problems for their Old Firm rivals, who have to face them in the final league match of the season at Tannadice.

"I hoped for it to be an easy game after we went 2-0 up but I do not think we like easy games," Samaras said. "This was a massive three points. It was really difficult but what we wanted at the start of the day was to win three games and this was the first.

"They are a good team and it is very difficult to go away to Dundee United. We have dropped points there and Rangers have dropped points up there as well.

We need to look at ourselves and we want to make it 100 per cent wins in the last two games,
Celtic forward Georgios Samaras.

"You never know what is going to happen in this league and maybe they will drop points against Hibernian. But first we need to look at ourselves and we want to make it 100 per cent wins in the last two games."

With just two matches remaining it looks as if the league will go to the wire just as it did last season when Celtic clinched their third title in a row on the final day of the season with a win against Dundee United. Four years ago rivals Rangers dramatically clinched the league on the final day when Celtic lost to two late Motherwell goals on a day that was called "helicopter Sunday" after the chopper that was taking the league trophy to Fir Park had to change direction to Easter Road.

And in a reference to that day Greek international Samaras said he believes a repeat could be on the cards this year if Celtic hold their nerve. "We can handle the pressure as we believe in ourselves and believe in our team," Samaras said. "We believe we can win our last two games and we will see where the helicopter will land on the last day."