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CIFTCI’S WARNING TO HOOPS

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NADIR CIFTCI will have mixed emotions at Hampden on Saturday when Celtic take on Motherwell in the Scottish Cup Final.

The striker brought down the curtain on his loan spell at Fir Park with two goals in the 3-0 win over Hamilton Accies at the weekend.

Ciftci, who has made only four appearances as a substitute since Brendan Rodgers arrived in May 2016, has now returned to his parent club where he still has a year to run on his contract.

He reckons the Hoops will have to be at their best to lift the trophy and complete a historic double treble.

The frontman, who was bought by Ronnie Deila for £1.5million from Dundee United, said: “Motherwell have been brilliant as a team – compact and strong. That is their best chance against Celtic, to win second balls and hit them on the counter-attack.

“They have been good at getting in the faces of the opposition and they will press high again. The boys are so fit that ever metre counts for them and they will give everything.

“There are so many potential heroes. I scored twice on Saturday, but my team-mates allowed me to do that. Curtis Main has been on a good run and Ryan Bowman has done well after his injury, so I don’t care who scores.

“It will be mixed feelings for me. Who will I support? Oh, I don’t know – I’m sure the better team will win!

“Obviously, I know Celtic very well and, if any team in this league can give them a hard game, I honestly believe it is Motherwell. We have already seen the teams draw 0-0 this season.

“The way Motherwell play – getting in your face and being really aggressive – can cause any team problems. I think they were also maybe a little bit unlucky in the League Cup Final against Celtic.

“They just need to believe in themselves and they can definitely do it.”

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