LIAM HENDERSON remains unfazed by Celtic’s tough draw in the Scottish Cup yesterday when they were paired with Dundee United.
Not surprisingly for Celtic supporters, United have home advantage as the fans have noted with a wry smile that Celtic have had 16 from the last 18 Scottish Cup draws throwing up away fixtures for the Champions.
Henderson remains focused on the target for the season set by incoming manager Ronny Deila at the start of the see – go out and win the Treble for Celtic!
The teenager last night said: “The manager has been talking to us about the treble a lot. All of the players want it too.
“It has been reiterated since the start of the season that it’s what we want to do. You have to take each game as it comes and United will be the next hurdle in the Scottish Cup.
“Winning the treble is a tough task and we are still only in February. We just need to keep the performances going because they have been very good in the last few months.
“We are sticking to the manager’s game plan, playing nice football and scoring goals.
“We aren’t losing goals at the moment either, so it’s looking good for us.
“It’s probably the toughest draw we could have got but I’m sure we will take it in our stride. Tannadice is always a hard place to go to but hopefully we can get the result.
“We will now play them three weeks in a row, in the Scottish Cup, the League Cup Final and then in the league, so it will be interesting.
“We will just need to keep working hard in training and make sure the good performances keep on coming like they have in the last few weeks.”
Clearly Dundee United are rated very highly in the Celtic camp. In last day transfer activity before the window closed Celtic looked to Tannadice to sign the highly rated Gary Armstrong and Gary Mackay- Steven but even with their loss to the Dundee United squad, Henderson warns of the threat the Tangerines pose to Celtic’s Treble target. He said:
“United are a dangerous team. They have some quality players and some really good young players like Charlie Telfer.
“And with someone like Nadir Ciftci up front, they have the ability to cause us a lot of problems.
“I suppose it does help in a way that we have signed two of their best players in Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.
“But they are cup-tied, so they can’t play for us in the games.”
Henderson has forced his way back into Ronny Deila’s plans with some impressive recent performances at places like Kilmarnock and Hamilton where he also grabbed a goal. And the 18 year-old Hoops star is hungry for more first team action as we approach the business end of the season.
“I’m ahead of schedule because I made eight first-team appearances in the whole of last season and I’ve already made eight this time.
“It’s an improvement for me and I’m learning every day from the manager and the players I’m training with.
“I need to add goals to my game, I need to get quicker and stronger. I’m still young, so hopefully it will come.
“I’m working hard with the sports scientists and every day in training to try to improve my game.
“We’ve got a busy schedule for the rest of the season, with the three domestic competitions and the Europa League, so the squad will be used.
“If I get a chance, I hope to do the best I can for the team and the manager.”