Celtic to face Peterhead in Scottish Cup
Neil Lennon is glad smaller clubs will get a share of the spotlight and the spoils after the Old Firm were handed trips to lower-league outposts in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round draw made at Hampden today.
Holders Celtic are away to Third Division strugglers Peterhead, managed by former Hoops midfielder Jim McInally, while Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Rangers will travel to Second Division title contenders Arbroath.
Within an intriguing draw, Ayrshire Junior outfit Auchinleck Talbot were been handed a tie away to Hearts while Hibernian face a tricky trip to Fife to take on Division Two leaders Cowdenbeath.
The Celtic boss is glad to see the smaller clubs prosper from the luck of the draw.
"I think it is great for Peterhead," said Lennon. "I know Jim very well and I'm sure he is looking forward to us coming there.
"I think it is great for the smaller clubs.
"I see that Arbroath have got Rangers as well so that hopefully will sustain clubs like that for a year or two and they may get a bit of television money out of it as well.
"We will take that game very seriously when it comes along because we are the holders."
A delighted Auchinleck treasurer David Loy described the draw against the Jambos as "the biggest game in the club's history" as he looked forward to what will be a lucrative trip to Edinburgh.
"This was probably the biggest tie we could have got outside the Old Firm," he told Press Association Sport.
"Auchinleck will be empty that day.
"I don't know what it will do in terms of finances - come and ask me after the game.
"But it's a great boost for the club, definitely.
"I would say it could keep us going for at least a season and a half.
"We will take the bull by the horns and we will go for it.
"We are playing very well at the moment, as long as the players don't freeze."
Cowdenbeath's player-manager, Colin Cameron, knows the visiting fans will not have forgotten that he is a former Hearts midfielder.
"Ideally, I wanted Hearts because it would have been nice to play them," he told Press Association Sport
"So Hibs is the next best thing I suppose.
"I'm sure the Hibs supporters will remind me of my history of playing with Hearts.
"But hopefully they will concentrate all their vocabulary on me and leave the rest of the players to go about their jobs.
"We were looking for a lucrative draw and the opportunity to progress and a home tie gives you an opportunity.
"I know it is SPL opposition and it will be very difficult for us but my players are playing with confidence and I have instil belief into them."
As a pre-game confidence booster, Lennon will remind his players of their recent record against SPL opposition.
"We have already beaten three SPL teams this season, albeit it in pre-season," said the former Scotland midfielder
"We beat Hearts, Dundee United and St Mirren. "So there is my first line of attack on the players, telling them that we were capable.
"But they will have to play the best they have ever played and hope that Hibs don't fancy coming to Cowdenbeath.
"It will be important for us to get out the traps running and if we do that and manage to get an early goal that will enhance the confidence that the lads have at the moment."
Hearts manager Paulo Sergio was satisfied with the draw against Auchinleck.
The Portuguese told Hearts TV: "I think we can't complain with the draw.
"We have a lot of chance to go through. We should respect our opponent and we're going to do that, but we are optimistic to go through in the cup."
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