Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic ignored mounting speculation over the vacant managerial post at Parkhead to begin their defence of the Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win over League One Falkirk on Saturday.
The Glasgow giants have reportedly been in talks this week with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.
In the meantime, interim boss John Kennedy is in charge till the end of the season and will have the chance to end a disastrous campaign on a high with a trophy.
The Hoops had to wait until the 56th minute to take the lead through a deflected drive from James Forrest, who was making his first start in six months.
Forrest has missed most of the season with an ankle injury but will be hoping to make Scotland’s squad for Euro 2020 with a strong finish to the campaign.
“It’s obviously great to start and get the goal,” said Forrest. “I’m absolutely delighted after what I’ve been through for the last few months.
“I just want to keep playing games until the end of the season. You miss the pressure of playing with Celtic.”
Ryan Christie doubled Celtic’s lead two minutes later and substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi added a third in the 79th minute to put a sheen on the scoreline.
Rangers are in action on Sunday when they host Cove Rangers at Ibrox.
There was a lack of cup upsets in the other third round ties as top-flight Aberdeen, St Johnstone, Motherwell, Dundee United and Kilmarnock all overcame lower league opposition to reach the fourth round.