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Patience is a virtue for Celtic as John Kennedy appreciates calm before storm

Celtic v Falkirk – Scottish Cup – Third Round – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

John Kennedy praised the patience Celtic showed against Livingston on Saturday before they dished out a 6-0 Scottish Premiership punishment to the West Lothian side.

The visitors made a decent fist of it in the first half at Parkhead until the high-tempo Hoops made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark with a James Forrest goal.

Midfielder David Turnbull notched eight minutes later and the second half was a stroll with an own goal from Livi defender Jack Fitzwater, a terrific Mohamed Elyounoussi double and a late strike by substitute Ryan Christie putting the Scottish Cup holders in a confident mood ahead of their last-16 tie with Rangers at Ibrox next week.

Interim boss Kennedy told Celtic TV: “We had to be patient but once we found our groove we certainly came to life.

“Livingston always make it difficult for you, they work ever so hard, they man-mark you at times and don’t give you much time on the ball in dangerous spaces.

“They try and put themselves in positions high up the pitch, get set-plays and throw-ins and the game becomes very stop-start.

“But we rotated well, we moved the ball very quickly and we had some good attacking runs and a number of different goals.

“It was really pleasing, it was a high-level performance.”

Norway international Elyounoussi was the man of the match but Kennedy noted that plenty other Celtic players hit top form in what was their biggest league win of the season.

The former Celtic defender said: “It was good. That is what we have been asking the players for in terms of dominating games, we have been in full control of games but we have to be clinical, we have to be deadly in the final third and we showed that.

“We had more chance inside the box and we created much bigger chances.

“We have to have the confidence to believe in the system and what we are doing and we have enough quality to finish them off.

“It is a good bit of confidence for them, a great result and very well deserved and we move on to the next game.”

Livingston boss David Martindale is confident he will get his players focused for next Sunday’s cup tie at Aberdeen.

He said: “We will get it back in training. That won’t be a problem.

“The boys are good boys, we will make sure that doesn’t happen next week.”