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Strength in depth can help Celtic`s Cup ambitions

Strength in depth can help Celtic`s Cup ambitions

Scott Brown insists the strength of the Celtic squad can help fire them to victory against Dundee United in their Scottish Cup quarter-final clash on Sunday.

The Hoops face United at Tannadice just four days after slipping to a 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone - their first domestic defeat of 2015.

Ronny Deila`s side will have to do without Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong, who have made a sensational start to their Celtic careers since joining from Dundee United on transfer deadline day.

The pair are cup-tied against their former employees, but Celtic captain Brown says the squad is strong enough to cope without them as the Glasgow giants continue their quest for a domestic treble.

"We have a big enough squad and we have people in the squad who would probably get a game for most Scottish Premiership teams, so it shows we`ve got a good squad and they will be wanting their chance to get a game," he said.

"It`s going to be hard. We have played more games than anyone in the Scottish Premiership but we have a bigger squad than anyone else and we will use it wisely.

"Every game is important for us. It was the exact same last season and we were disappointed to go out the cups so early. 

"It was a learning curve on Wednesday night, and it shows it`s not all easy street for us, that we are going to win every game from now until the end of the season."Despite the weakened state of traditional rivals Rangers, currently languishing in the second tier, the Hoops have struggled in cup competitions in the past three seasons, winning just one of the previous six domestic cup trophies up for grabs.

Celtic made early exits in both cup competitions to Morton and Aberdeen last season and Brown says his side are determined to make amends.

"We want to win every game. Wednesday was a slight hiccup and we were lucky enough it was in the league," Brown said.

"It`s about your character and how you bounce back. We are strong enough in that dressing room to bounce back from anything."

United have been handed a boost ahead of the Celtic tie with the news that forward Nadir Ciftci is available to face the Scottish champions after he won his appeal against a two-match suspension following his clash with Inverness defender Gary Warren last week.

United manager Jackie McNamara, whose side are without a win in their previous four matches, says his players are looking forward to the match.

It will be the first of three meetings between the sides in three weeks, with the pair due to clash in the Scottish League Cup final and league duty

"It`s a great chance to bounce back. A lot has been made because we`ve lost a couple of games," McNamara said.

"There`s no better opportunity than a quarter final at home to Celtic."

Celtic are waiting on news of defender Adam Matthews, who twisted his ankle in the midweek defeat to St Johnstone, while striker John Guidetti, Kris Commons and Emilio Izaguirre all face late fitness tests.
Fixtures

Saturday

Inverness CT v Raith (1500 GMT)
Sunday

Hibernian v Berwick (1245 GMT), Dundee United v Celtic (1530 GMT)

From Zee News

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