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REMEMBER MORTON, KILLIE AND ST MIRREN, LENNY

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NEIL LENNON led Celtic to two trophies in three months as the Premiership title and the Scottish Cup completed last season’s historic treble treble.

Amazingly, though, the Hoops boss has NEVER won a League Cup in his nine years as manager.

In Lennon’s last reign first time around, part-time Championship strugglers Morton delivered the knock-out blow in the competition at Parkhead in 2013 when Doug Imrie claimed the only goal of a towsy tussle. The solitary strike came from a dodgy penalty-kick call after the ball hit Efe Ambrose on the hand.

The Irishman has also been beaten by a late Kilmarnock goal in the 2012 Final at Hampden and toppled 3-2 by St Mirren in the 2013 semi-final in another instantly forgettable confrontation.

So, Lennon will not be taking anything for granted when Partick Thistle, rock-bottom of the league’s second-tier, arrive for the Betfred League Cup quarter-final in the east end of Glasgow tomorrow evening.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We have to make sure we don’t overcook it in terms of any changes we make.

“It might be an opportunity to give some players game time. But I don’t want to make too many changes because we’re in good form and this is a chance to reach a semi-final.

“I don’t want our trophy run to end, so we have to look to get the balance right. We go into the game wanting to win the tournament, so we’ll put out a strong team.

“I remember losing to Morton here in my last spell as manager. We peppered their goal, but lost 1-0.

“I asked myself afterwards if I’d made too many changes, but I looked at the team and we had seven internationals playing. Virgil Van Dijk, Teemu Pukki, Mikael Lustig, they all played.

“We also could have won a treble, but we lost to St Mirren in a League Cup semi-final.

“Then there was the Final against Kilmarnock that we should have won hands down.”

Lennon also had some scares in the competition as a player and added: “There was also a crazy penalty shoot-out win over Partick Thistle, as well, in 2002.

“We won 5-4 in the end, but I remember myself and John Hartson having a giggle about it afterwards and Martin O’Neill absolutely went through us!

“Maybe there’s a bit of a hex over me in this competition. We’ll see, but I certainly hope that’s not the case.”

 
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