PEDRO CAIXINHA hopes to put Celtic on the spot at Hampden tomorrow in the Scottish Cup semi-final clash.
The Portuguese coach has primed his Ibrox players to be ready for a penalty shoot-out against the champions.
Caixinha is well aware the Govan club advanced to last season’s Cup Final – where they lost 3-2 to Hibs – after knocking out Ronny Deila’s men on spot-kicks following the 2-2 stalemate.
The Hoops squandered three attempts from the spot – Scott Brown saw his effort saved, Callum McGregor thumped the ball against the crossbar and Tom Rogic missed the target completely, hindered by the dodgy Hampden turf which had just be re-laid.
Their opponents took full advantage to advance on a 5-4 penalty-kick success.
Caixinha has had his players competing since Tuesday to prove they are ready for lightning to strike twice in the High Noon showdown.
He insisted: “I’m not thinking about the match as my first Old Firm (sic) experience, only of preparing the team to be ready to face one of the strongest opponents.”That’s undeniable, you cannot hide from that. But now we are thinking about the 90 minutes. Or if it’s 120 minutes, or if we need to go to penalties.
‘We started on Tuesday with the players practising penalties every day.
‘When I reached the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup with Nacional in 2012, we went through every round on penalties, then lost on penalties to Sporting Lisbon in the semis.
‘In Mexico, I won my first trophy with Santos Laguna on penalties. So, we need to be ready for everything.”
It’s strange that that he’s already thinking about penalties given that he has the self declared best squad in Scotland at his disposal.
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