Hooper ready for run-in
Gary Hooper believes Celtic have the mentality to seal the SPL title from their remaining five games.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 26/04/11 9:55am
Gary Hooper believes Celtic have the mentality to seal the Scottish Premier League title with maximum points from their remaining five games.
The Bhoys held title rivals Rangers to a 0-0 draw at Ibrox on Sunday, leaving Neil Lennon's side in control of their own destiny for the season run-in.
Rangers still lead the way by a point but, having played a game more, the blue half of Glasgow must rely on a slip-up on Celtic's part.
Striker Hooper can foresee no such shortcoming, though, and admits the outcome at Rangers was precisely the result they were looking for.
"We've shown we can handle pressure and we're ready for the run-in," said Hooper.
"This is the position we wanted to be in after Ibrox. We did not want to lose and have to rely on another team doing us a favour during the run-in.
"It would have been great to beat Rangers and open up a lead at the top of the table but we now know what we have to do.
"We know every match between now and the end of the season is going to be extremely difficult as there is so much at stake and you can't afford to drop points.
"But hopefully we'll have enough good players to do what needs to be done."
Things might have been even better for the Bhoys had Georgios Samaras not been denied from the penalty spot by in-form Allan McGregor in the Rangers goal.
Yet Hooper refused to criticise his team-mate for the 83rd-minute miss, dismissing the incident as irrelevant as Celtic regained control of the league regardless.
"He was unlucky as the keeper made a good save and these things can happen," he said of the Greek striker.
"Over the piece you have to be happy. We know what needs to be done."
Meanwhile, Joe Ledley, who limped out of the Ibrox stalemate with a hamstring complaint, will have a scan on Tuesday to determine the extent of his injury.
The Welshman could be ruled out for the remainder of the season, which also includes a Scottish Cup final showdown with Motherwell on 21st May.