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Camilla Care

Liam Scales will be hoping for a strong end to the season as Celtic aim to secure the double

Vaseline 4 weeks ago

Liam Scales foresaw a potentially glorious end to Celtic’s season after their epic Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Aberdeen on Saturday, but knows there is still a lot of work to be done.

A dramatic 6-5 win over the Dons at Hampden Park followed a 3-3 draw and it earned the Hoops a place in the May 25 final against Rangers or Hearts, who face each other at the National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Parkhead side are three points clear of their Old Firm rivals at the top of the cinch Premiership with five games remaining after the split, one of which is the visit of Rangers to Celtic Park.

Scales recognized the importance of momentum at the end of the season.

“We’re coming into the latter part of the season strong and that’s the way we like it and that’s the way we want it to be,” the Irish defender said.

“With five games left in the league we want to try to contain that and then take care of the cup.

“It probably won’t be that easy, but that’s the plan.”

Scales, who joined from Shamrock Rovers in August 2021, was loaned out to Aberdeen last season and there was speculation he could sign a permanent contract with the Granite City club.

However, the Republic of Ireland international became a regular starter for Celtic this season under returning boss Brendan Rodgers and he wants to continue in the same vein.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Aberdeen and it’s a great club,” he said.

“It’s great to break into the team here.

“I’m happy with how the season went. We just have to finish the season strong in our last five league games before we go to the cup final.”

Scales described the semi-final as “mental” and it came to a head in the penalty shoot-out when goalkeeper Joe Hart hit the post with Celtic’s fifth penalty, but then saved from Killian Phillips to confirm the win.

Celtic recovered from Bojan Miovski’s early goal to lead through goals from Nicolas Kuhn and substitute James Forrest, before Dons substitute Ester Sokler leveled in the 90th minute.

Matt O’Riley fired Celtic ahead in extra time but stand-in Dons captain Angus MacDonald made up for an earlier mistake that led to Celtic’s equalizer when he headed in the 119th minute.

Scales said: “The boys who took the penalties showed extreme mental strength and courage to lock them down. It was amazing.”

Leading 3-2 in extra time, Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers thought he had given away a penalty for his tackle on Junior Hoilett in the penalty area and was relieved to find that referee Don Robertson had awarded a foul to the Hoops for the penalty kick. The Aberdeen substitute’s challenge on Celtic right-back Alistair Johnston seconds earlier.

Carter-Vickers said: “I didn’t see him until late. I thought it was given, but when it wasn’t given, I was happy.

“The referee just said it was a foul on Alistair Johnston. Obviously VAR checked it and I just said if you saw it on the pitch please stand by your decision.

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