Gary Hooper insists fightback at Kilmarnock was key to SPL triumph

Gary Hooper celebrates his first goal against Kilmarnock on Saturday
Gary Hooper celebrates his first goal against Kilmarnock on Saturday© SNS Group

Gary Hooper believes Celtic's draw at Rugby Park in October was a real turning point in their season.

The striker scored a brace to ensure Celtic claimed the SPL title in style with a 6-0 victory against Kilmarnock on Saturday but the Englishman feels the first meeting between the sides in Ayrshire was the pivotal moment of the campaign.

Neil Lennon’s side found themselves 3-0 down at half-time that day before an Anthony Stokes double and late equaliser from Charlie Mulgrew salvaged an unlikely point.

The fightback gave Celtic the impetus to kick start their season and Hooper insists the result made the Parkhead club's squad believe they could be SPL champions.

"When we played at Rugby Park before, we were 3-0 down at half-time," Hooper told the club's official website.

"We managed to get a point that day and kicked on from there.

"And to come from 15 points behind is really good going. The team spirit is unbelievable and everyone has done their job and won the title.

"We lost to Kilmarnock in the League Cup final a few weeks ago and had to make it up to the fans and we did that by winning 6-0 and it was a brilliant performance."

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