SPL news

Hooper: Inverness loss forgotten

November 15, 2011

Gary Hooper insists the Celtic players want to forgot the Inverness nightmare that contributed to last season's Scottish Premier League title failure as they prepare to return to the Highlands on Saturday.

Celtic's Gary Hooper celebrates his winner at Motherwell
GettyImagesCeltic's 3-2 defeat to Inverness in May was a decisive result in last season's title race

• Celtic may face action over fans

In May, as the SPL title entered its final weeks, the Hoops suffered a shock 3-2 defeat by Terry Butcher's side which kept Rangers one point clear of Celtic at the top of the table with three games remaining.

The Ibrox men held out to retain their title but the former Scunthorpe striker insists the Parkhead squad do not look back at the night they blew their championship hopes.;

"It was a tough game and we lost,'' Hooper said. "I can't put my finger on why but it's gone now. We haven't spoken much about it. Our focus is on three points on Saturday and nothing else.''

After a sticky start to the season Celtic appear to be back on track after victories in their past two games against Rennes and Motherwell. However, Neil Lennon's men are still 12 points behind the Light Blues at the top of the SPL, although they have a game in hand over the champions.

Hooper, 23, insists there will be "no excuses'' if Celtic do not win all the way until their Old Firm clash with Rangers on December 28.

"We have got to win every game, no excuses,'' he said. "We have to win every game and we can't drop points. It is very important (we win on Saturday). We will go there like we did at Motherwell and get the three points. That's the main thing.

"It's going to be a tough game. It's a long way from here and it is a tight pitch but there are no excuses now. We just have to get in and out with the three points. Those two wins have made us more confident to go there and get them.''