Football - Lustig fears fatigue in final

Celtic defender Mikael Lustig believes fatigue is the Hoops' biggest enemy as they prepare to face Hibernian in the William Hill Scottish Cup final.

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Football - Lustig fears fatigue in final

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Mikael Lustig says Celtic's players will have to overcome fatigue this weekend

The Parkhead outfit will line-up against Pat Fenlon's men at Hampden on Sunday following an exhausting campaign both at home and abroad. This weekend's showdown will be Celtic's 59th match after claiming the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title, reaching the last 16 of the Champions League and marching to the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

The right-back, who has turned out 37 times for his club this term, said: "Is there a sense of tiredness to the squad? Yeah, I think so. Playing 50 games is a lot. It will be the same next year. Hopefully we are going to play in Europe again."

He added: "We know there is a lot of games involved and you have to try to be alert in your head.

"The manager has given a few of the boys time off and that was the right move. We need to have a rest mentally, time to not think about football.

"Some of the boys will only get three weeks off and then it will be 11 months of football again. That's a lot.

"I'm away with Sweden after the cup final. We play Austria away and the Faroe Islands at home in the World Cup qualifiers. It's another three weeks before I can rest but hopefully I can handle that."

Lustig could yet be given this weekend off. He admits he is uncertain of whether he or defensive rival Adam Matthews will be given the nod to start.

Matthews has not featured for the Parkhead side since injuring his hamstring in the second-leg defeat to Juventus in Turin in March as Celtic's Champions League adventure was halted at the first knockout hurdle.

But Lustig said: "I'm not guaranteed a start. We will see what happens with Adam first, to see if he is going to be fit or not. Maybe I'll play or not, maybe I'll be at right-back or centre-half, I don't know. I'm just hoping that I will play."

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