Neil Alexander warns Celtic Hearts are chasing cup upset

Neil Alexander warns Celtic Hearts are chasing cup upset
By PA Sport Report

27/10/2015 at 16:28

Goalkeeper Neil Alexander believes Hearts can find a way past Celtic as he chases a hat-trick of Scottish League Cup winners' medals.

Alexander played for Rangers in the 2010 and 2011 finals against St Mirren and Celtic and sees no reason why he cannot return to Hampden with the Ladbrokes Championship winners, who host Celtic in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

"I've won it twice so I've got a wee bit experience in this competition," the 37-year-old said. "It's the first cup final of the season and getting to Hampden gives your whole season a lift.

"We will go into every cup competition this season trying to win it. To win the cups you have got to beat the best and for the last few seasons Celtic have been the best.

"It would give everyone a huge lift, it keeps that winning run going and the confidence we have. And hopefully that can give your league form a springboard as well.

"It's important to keep that winning momentum from last season. We have a dressing room full of winners and we do feel we can do something this year."

Celtic have returned to the top of the Premiership in recent weeks, but question marks remain about their new-look defence, which has conceded 11 goals in their last five European games.

Alexander said: "First and foremost Celtic are a fantastic team and they've got really good individuals, so we are going to give them the respect they deserve, but every team has strengths and weaknesses.

"Week in, week out, we try to expose teams' weaknesses and combat their strengths. This is no different to any other game. We will study them, do our homework, and hopefully that might be to our advantage."

Hearts are unbeaten in five matches, a run which included a goalless draw at Celtic Park.

"We have come off the back of two good league wins which we needed after a wee dip in form, after a fantastic start," Alexander said.

"We're fully confident. We feel we have a good dressing room full of boys who are itching to play.

"Maybe the home advantage of the atmosphere at Tynecastle might help us as well. It's a very intimidating place to go. I've experienced that as an opposition player. It's very hostile and the fans are very passionate, which hopefully we can take advantage of.

"We will need to ride our luck as we did at Parkhead a few weeks ago and hopefully get a bit of fortune at the other end."