Football: Dykstra bent on keeping Celtic at bay

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The Independent Online
Sieb Dykstra, Dundee United's Dutch goalkeeper, is confident of handling the pressure and keeping his manager's blood pressure down in tomorrow's Coca-Cola Cup final against Celtic.

Dykstra admitted he blundered in gifting Henrik Larsson Celtic's second goal in the 4-0 league win the Parkhead club enjoyed last week, and has promised not to run into further trouble in the final 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, the odd error apart, enjoyed a consistent season for United this term and has emerged as a popular figure in a United 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.

"I think it helps playing them again so quickly and the good thing about the 4-0 loss is that everybody now expects Celtic to win easily - especially their own support. That will put more pressure on Celtic."

Dykstra conceded he was unhappy with his own contribution last week at Parkhead, but refuses to let his spirits drop. "I was not too pleased with the second goal that I let in. I should have held the ball. Even after fumbling it, I would usually have got to the second ball, but it bounced off my knee and Henrik Larsson pounced. Overall this season, however, I am very happy with my form, my performances have pleased me," he said.

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