CELTIC manager Neil Lennon last night stressed there will be no sentimentality in his team selection for the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hearts at Hampden tomorrow.

Lennon has left his captain Scott Brown out of his starting line-up in the last two games against Lille in the Europa League and Kilmarnock in the Premiership.

The Parkhead club, who had won just twice in 12 games before last week, recorded back-to-back victories with Ismaila Soro in central midfield.

Many Celtic fans would like to see the diminutive Ivorian retain his place – but Lennon revealed at the weekend that he could remain loyal to the players who had got to the final.

However, the Northern Irishman, whose team is bidding to complete the quadruple treble, insisted yesterday he will pick what he thinks is the strongest starting line-up.

“I’m not aware of the speculation as you keep yourself away from that,” he said. “I think we’re more or less set on the team that we’ll start with. We might have to make a decision on one position.

“But there will be no sentimentality or anything like that. We’re going to pick a team to win the game.”

However, Lennon admitted that experience would play a key role in deciding the final between the Premiership champions and their Championship rivals.

“It’s really important at times,” he said. “And we have a squad full of experience at this level.

“He (Brown) is a fabulous captain, fabulous player and I think at times we do miss him when he is not there.

"That's been the case, albeit in the last couple of games we have been giving him a bit of a rest, the team have played very well. There is no question he is a huge presence on and off the field.

"As regards team selection, as I said, there will be no sentimentality involved in my thinking behind that with my backroom team."

Lennon admitted the wins over Lille and Kilmarnock had lifted his players ahead of the meeting with Hearts this weekend and is hopeful they can complete another clean sweep of domestic silverware.

“It’s been good,” he said. “Training has been good even when we were going through the bad run there. It’s just been about transferring it into the games.

“They have done that in the last couple of games and had a really good performance at the weekend. I’m not saying they have turned the corner, we just have to take it game by game and see where it takes us.

“But I think the boys are a lot happier and the mood is a lot better obviously because it just comes from results really.

“We’re now in another final and we’re hell-bent on winning it. We’re motivated to win it - as Hearts will be - and it’s set up to be a very good game.”