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By ESPN Staff

Hooper delighted to fire Celtic "back on track"

Celtic striker Gary Hooper was glad his last-gasp winner at St Mirren helped his side banish the memories of Wednesday's defeat to Hearts.

Shaun Maloney and Gary Hooper speak to ESPN

Hooper pounced from close range with 90 seconds of added time remaining to give Neil Lennon's side a 1-0 win and move them back to within a point of leaders Rangers.

It had looked as though Celtic were set to end a week that had seen them lose 2-0 to Hearts with just a point, until Hooper's intervention.

"We created too many chances, we kept playing,'' Hooper told ESPN after netting his 10th goal of the season. "We bounced back. We kept at it all game and scored at the end with a minute to go.

"Paddy (McCourt) came on, set it up well, there was a deflection and I got a toe poke. We got the three points which we needed after Hearts and we're back on the board.''

Bhoys manager Neil Lennon was thrilled with his side's display, claiming their performance was so good he would not have been too concerned had they been forced to settle for a draw.

"We said at half-time that we'd wait until the 93rd minute if we had to,'' he said. "We got what we deserved, we were fantastic. In the second half we cut them open. There were some fantastic performances out there, I'm really proud of the players.

"The expectation is to win games. I wouldn't have been too disappointed if we'd have drawn because of the level of performance.''

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon conceded Celtic had reaped the rewards of playing until the final whistle.

He said: "I think in the second half we had more belief and I thought defensively we were fantastic. But that's what the likes of Rangers and Celtic do, they go right to the death. They put you under so much pressure. It's that lack of concentration at the death that cost us.''


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