NEIL LENNON has ordered his Celtic players to turn their rage into rewards as he prepares for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup quarter-final crunch encounter against St Johnstone in Perth.
The Hoops boss will have to pick up his troops after their Europa League shocker against FC Copenhagen that saw them blow the ideal opportunity of sealing a place in the last-16 of the competition.
The Irishman admitted his team had “shot themselves in the foot” in an error-strewn performance against the grateful Danes who snapped up three second-half gifts to get through on a 4-2 aggregate.
It was the champions’ first defeat of 2020 at the 12th hurdle and the Parkhead gaffer will have to ensure there is no hangover or fall-out at McDiarmid Park with the historic quadruple treble within sight.
Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I’m hoping I get a reaction from our players after Thursday night and I’m sure I will.
“I hope they’re angry – and when they play angry they can be very good.
“They had Friday off and now they need to get their minds refocused on trying to retain the Scottish Cup.
“But I’m looking for a reaction, that’s for sure. I just didn’t see that coming. It’s been a good Euro campaign. I think we’ve made really good strides.
“That’s the most disappointing aspect of going out, when you think of the calibre of teams we’ve beaten.
“But when you give away goals the way we did on Thursday then it’s tough. I just didn’t think Copenhagen deserved anything out of the game, but we were punished by mistakes of our own making.
“Now we have to channel this defeat now. It’s my job to make sure we do that.”
Lennon added: “I’m still bitterly disappointed to have gone out, but we have to get over that because we only have ourselves to blame for what happened.
“We were in control of that game and gave the impetus away through our own fault – it was just crazy.