FORMER Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas can't look past his old side as he predicted Ange Postecoglou's side to lift the League Cup in Sunday's showpiece occasion at Hampden.

The Parkhead club saw off St Johnstone in the previous round thanks to a late winner from James Forrest, and Nicholas is confident that Postecoglou can make it two wins from two at the national stadium this weekend.

Managerless Hibs are all that stand between Celtic and the first domestic silverware of the season - and while Nicholas reckons lifting the cup isn't a must for the new manager, he believes it will give the Greece-born Australian greater room for maneuver as his grand plan comes to fruition.

"I'm backing Ange Postecoglou to lift his first trophy as Celtic boss on Sunday," Nicholas wrote in his Express column.

"The Hoops face managerless Hibs in the Premier Sports Cup Final at Hampden - and I can't see past them.

"Hibs are vulnerable, although they have a talented team who can win big matches - albeit only occasionally.

"It would be good for Ange to lift that first trophy as it's a tangible sign of progress with this team.

"The majority of fans are behind the manager and a win - I'll go for 3-2 to Celtic - will only bolster that bond.

"While I don't think it vital Ange lift the trophy, it would give him some time and a little credit in the bank to get on with things in his own style.

"It's going to be a rollercoaster ride - but I'm happily strapped in for it."

Postecoglou has found himself come in for criticism recently for his squad selection as key players have picked up injuries just as the fixtures are coming thick and fast - but Nicholas insists the Celtic manager cannot be blamed for his players' misfortune.

He continued: "Things have changed from my time in the sport, but it used to be that, if you played at a top club, you trained full-out. I seems Ange is old-fashioned that way - and I like that.

"The manager has had injury issues but has refused to use that as an excuse in games, which is great.

"He has a good sized squad and it's up to the fringe players to prove they are good enough to make the step up.

"I note that Ange has also refused to rule [Kyogo] Furuhashi out of the cup final.

"I really wouldn't be surprised if he was to be involved at Hampden."