Lustig moves on from defeat

  • Last Updated: December 30 2012, 13:44 GMT

Mikael Lustig believes Celtic's 1-0 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road was a blip and looks forward to proving that against Motherwell on Wednesday.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates the only goal
Leigh Griffiths celebrates the only goal

Mikael Lustig

2. Mikael Lustig

Title Number
Appearances 37 (0)
Goals 2
Assists 4
Yellows 6
Reds 0
*Current Season

The Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions dominated possession after going behind in eight minutes to Hibees' on-loan striker Leigh Griffiths' 14th goal of the season.

However, it proved to be frustrating afternoon for Neil Lennon's men as they failed to find a way past a resolute Leith defence.

Lustig, though, can point to the fact the Hoops remain six points clear of Inverness at the top of the SPL table with a game in hand, still in both domestic cup competitions and with a Champions League last-16 clash with Italian giants Juventus next year to relish.

The Sweden full-back wants Celtic to start off 2013 by returning to winning ways against the Steelmen at Parkhead.

He said: "We are a big team in Scotland and of course we want to win every game but if we lose a game, we are still the same players who have done very well this season so far.

"So hopefully we can play a good game against Motherwell, score some goals and get back on track.

"I think we were the better team against Hibs but that's football and if you don't score it is hard to win.

"The attitude and character we showed was brilliant at times. But we are Celtic players and we don't like to lose, we always want to win. We always think we should score goals.

"I think we created some big chances and had some good crosses and as I said before, goals are really important."

After just four points from their previous seven games, Hibs skipper James McPake was delighted to finish the year off with a home win against a side he believes remain certainties for the title.

The Easter Road defender hopes to take the confidence from the victory over Celtic into the Edinburgh derby against Hearts at Tynecastle on January 3.

He said: "We needed points. It wasn't about getting the scalp of Celtic, it was about three points, especially at home because we had let the form slip a bit. That was the big thing for us.

"The derbies are probably the biggest games of the season for Hibernian and for them.

"So it is going to be a great occasion and brilliant for both sets of fans and we are going into it high in confidence.

"I think we handled Celtic quite well. I think we created the better chances.

"Any team will have a go when they are 1-0 down and Celtic have more quality than most but we were big and strong and as a team we defended brilliantly so there are a lot of positives to take from the game."

Hibs manager Pat Fenlon, who described the result as the biggest since he became Easter Road boss just over a year ago, now hopes to keep Griffiths and fellow loan stars Ryan McGivern and Jorge Claros beyond next month.

"We will probably sit down on Monday or Tuesday," he said. "We are anxious to keep all three.

"Jorge is a good player and we want to keep him. Ryan had a tight hamstring (which kept him out) but he has been a fantastic signing while Leigh has scored a lot of goals.

"We can only do so much. The board is sometimes criticised when it comes to keeping players but we are doing as much as we can in relation to Leigh and the other two and at the end of the day it probably will not be our decision, it will be the clubs to whom the players are contracted."

Fenlon is hopeful of having McGivern back for the trip to Gorgie.

He said: "McGivern has a chance for Tynecastle. He just felt a little bit sore after the Ross County game but there is no tear or damage to it so we will treat him and see how he is over the next two or three days."

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