Double-chasing Celtic on Hampden mission
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Celtic captain Scott Brown has urged his team-mates to put their title celebrations to one side as they aim to finish the season with a double.

The Hoops clinched the Scottish Premier League championship in style last weekend as they defeated Kilmarnock 6-0, but on Sunday, Neil Lennon's side face Hearts at Hampden for a place in the Scottish Cup final.

And the Celtic midfielder is keen to cap off a good season for the club by retaining the trophy they won last year against Motherwell. "Everyone is still on a high, but we have another big game coming up on Sunday," Brown said.

"We have got to focus and get ready for that, get back into training and being sharp. We have had a couple of good days and enjoyed it, but that has passed now and we have a Scottish Cup game coming up."

The last time Celtic were at Hampden they lost the League Cup final 1-0 to Kilmarnock. Scottish international Kris Commons is keen to use the semi-final against Hearts to make it up to the Celtic fans for the shock defeat.

"It's good to be champions, but I want to get my mind on back on preparing for the weekend," Commons said. "We have a big game against Hearts so we have to make sure this good season becomes a great one by bringing the cup home as well.

We have got to focus and get ready for that, get back into training and being sharp. 
Scott Brown, Celtic captain

 

"It's a big game on Sunday and hopefully we can go back to Hampden and do the business as it was obviously a pretty poor performance the last time we were there. So it's time to buck up as to cap this season off with a double would be magic."

Driver wary of Celtic ambition
Celtic will be without winger James Forrest and long-term injuries Beram Kayal and Daniel Majstorovic. Hearts warmed up for the match with consecutive victories over Dunfermline and Aberdeen, but winger Andy Driver says his team-mates will need to be wary of a Celtic backlash. "They've got a point to prove. It's a game they've got to try to wipe out of their memory," Driver said.

"They were throwing around the treble talk - they know now they've got to work to get it, nothing's going to come for free. We've just got to concentrate on ourselves, prepare the way we need to prepare and I think if we do that we've got a chance of going out there and causing an upset."

Hearts have had a turbulent season with the squad experiencing several instances of delayed wages and cutbacks have been made to the playing staff. But Driver thinks Hearts' recent tribulations have helped the players develop a siege mentality and could drive them on to victory. "We've been through a lot and we've not really got anything to lose," the winger said.

"It's been a tough season. The way the players have handled it we've got to be commended. There has been a siege mentality - it's been like that for a few seasons at Hearts. If we can get to a cup final, or even make ourselves proud on Sunday, it will show the character of the team."

Craig Beattie and Andy Webster are both expected to start at Hampden after missing last weekend's league encounter with Dunfermline because of minor injuries. Full-back Jamie Hamill will miss out with a knee injury.

Edinburgh rivals Hibernian face Aberdeen in Saturday's semi-final as they aim to win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1902.