Football: O'Donnell praised by Burns

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Celtic face Hearts at Tynecastle today seeking a third victory in eight days, which would cut the gap on Rangers to eight points before Walter Smith's side face Aberdeen tomorrow.

Celtic have hit 11 goals without reply since losing to Rangers on 2 January and their manager, Tommy Burns, has hailed the contribution of midfielder Phil O'Donnell, who has returned after four months out with a calf injury.

"He has been sensational since he came back into the team five games ago," Burns said of O'Donnell, who was capped once by Scotland in 1993. "We always hoped he would show this sort of form once he got a regular run in the side. He hasn't looked the slightest bit tired and he has a tremendous lung capacity for getting up and down the pitch."

Burns is without Alan Stubbs, Brian O'Neil, Andreas Thom and Peter Grant as Celtic look for a first victory of the season over Hearts after three meetings. "The players deserve credit for the way they have lifted the fans since Ibrox - but that is our duty," Burns added.

The veteran Hearts striker John Robertson, who has a habit of scoring against Celtic, goes into the match two short of Jimmy Wardhaugh's Scottish League record of 206 goals for the Edinburgh club.

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