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Thompson looking for Celtic win

St Mirren striker Steven Thompson insists beating Celtic and then marching would top any of his Scotland caps or Rangers medal haul.

Thompson will lead the line for the Paisley side when they take on Celtic in Sunday's Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden.

The odds are firmly stacked against Danny Lennon's team going on to claim the trophy for the first time having lost their last eight games to the Hoops by an aggregate score of 22-0.

But that has not stopped boyhood St Mirren fan Thompson from dreaming of becoming a poster boy like the Scottish Cup-winning side of his youth.

Thompson, capped 16 times for Scotland and the owner of a full set of domestic medals from his time with Rangers, told Press Association Sport: "It would mean everything for a club like St Mirren to reach a major final. I was there in 1987 when the team won the cup.

"I used to idolise those guys and their posters were up on my wall. It would be excellent to think we could repeat history and that I could become one of those guys for some kids.

"If we did win the cup with St Mirren, I guess it would jump right to the top of my achievements in my career. That's purely because we are not expected to win.

"Growing up as a supporter, it would mean everything. But we need to beat Celtic first before we can think about that."

The enormity of seeing off the Glasgow giants is not lost on Thompson, who has already suffered a 5-0 hiding from Neil Lennon's team this term.

But the task has perhaps grown a little bigger after he and his team-mates took another severe dent to their confidence with last weekend's toothless display in a 4-1 home defeat to Ross County.

"Last weekend wasn't the ideal preparation," the former Dundee United, Cardiff and Burnley player admitted. "Losing the game 4-1 at home to Ross County was a poor performance from the team.

"But with it being a one-off game and a cup semi-final this weekend, we can put the league to bed for a week and be positive.

"We have not mentioned the County game once since we came back in and that is right.

"You have got to focus on the positives because you certainly can't play Celtic with any thoughts of negativity in your mind. We will just treat this game as a one-off opportunity to get to a major final."

Thompson needs no-one to tell him his side are not expected to trouble a Celtic team who have already beaten Spanish giants Barcelona this term.

But he is putting his faith in the powers of positive thinking.

He said: "When are Celtic not in good form?

"They have got such vast quality throughout their squad and such great options, such great individual talent, that no matter what form they are in or what team they pick, it will be an extremely difficult game.

"But we need to have belief. Without it, you may as well not turn up.

"There is a lot of pressure on Celtic but there is a lot of pressure on us too. It's a semi-final and we want to perform. We want to get to the final.

"But there is no ignoring the fact we are massive underdogs and for us to win the game on Sunday, we really need a number of things to happen. We need all of our players to have extremely good performances and to play to their maximum capabilities.

"We also need Celtic to have a couple of players having an off day and we also need quite a large dose of luck.

"Celtic have been beaten on a few occasions this year, it can be done. But you need all these stars to align for it to happen. I just hope it does on Sunday."