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Friday, November 28, 1997 Published at 16:20 GMT



Sport

Celtic favourites for cup
image: [ Celtic - favourites aftyer beating Dundee United 4-0 ]
Celtic - favourites aftyer beating Dundee United 4-0

Celtic are the bookies' hot favourites to beat Dundee United in Sunday's Scottish Coca-Cola Cup final - the first major honour of the season.

Victory at Ibrox for Celtic would be a further sign that coach Win Jansen has found the winning touch after a torrid start to the campaign.

The Celtic keeper, Jonathan Gould, says Jansen is that rarity in the modern game - the perfect gentleman.

Gould sees Dutchman Jansen as a contrasting figure because of his relaxed and affable manner.

"I've worked under managers like Ron Atkinson, my own father Bobby and Chris Kamara and they are all pretty volatile individuals," said Gould.

Jansen is in line for his first Scottish trophy just months into his Parkhead tenure, but, according to Gould, it would not be before time.

The club's only success this decade is the 1995 Scottish Cup win, when they edged past Airdrie 1-0, and Sunday's encounter is a chance to lift the League Cup for the first time since 1982.

United aim to bounce back

But to do that they will have to beat Sieb Dykstra.

The Dundee United goalkeeper can be cat-like one minute and give his manager kittens the next, but he is confident of handling the pressure against Celtic.


[ image: Dundee United - hoping to bounce back]
Dundee United - hoping to bounce back
Dutchman Dykstra admits he blundered badly in gifting Henrik Larsson Celtic's second goal in the 4-0 league win the Parkhead outfit enjoyed last week, and has promised not to drop his side into further trouble at Ibrox.

After a week of reflection, Dykstra reckons the heavy defeat in that dress rehearsal could even benefit United as the Celtic support are certain to demand a repeat performance, which may work against Wim Jansen's side.

Dykstra, 31, has enjoyed a consistent season for United - bar the odd clanger - and has emerged as a popular figure in a side he rates as the best seen at Tannadice for years.

He said: "Ahead of last week's game we had gained six straight victories and I think we have forgotten the result at Celtic Park already.

"Talking to the players in the dressing room, the feeling is we will do well on Sunday as we have more than enough quality to beat them.

"The 4-0 scoreline was not a fair reflection of the match, on another day the ball would have gone in for us."

Dykstra conceded he was unhappy with his own contribution last week at Parkhead, holding his hand up for his part in the defeat, but refuses to let his spirits drop.

He added: "I was not too pleased with the second goal that I let in. I should have held the ball.

"But I predict that it will be a tight game on Sunday with one goal either way settling it."








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