Celtic can use the “pain” of losing to Rangers at Hampden last season against Kilmarnock in the Viaplay Cup semi-final on Saturday, Ange Postecoglou has claimed.
Rangers came from behind to beat their rivals 2-1 in the Scottish Cup last four in April.
“We know what it looks like and we don’t want to go through that again,” Postecoglou said of the overtime loss.
“Losing last year wasn’t nice. I think you can use that as fuel because you can’t just throw those things away.”
While the Aussie hopes the memories of missing a stage in the final can bolster his players’ resolve, he acknowledged that some members of the Kilmarnock squad could play with greater freedom, having never felt the misery of losing at the national stadium.
“Maybe it’s better not to have experience because you’re less scared and you haven’t felt the pain,” added the Celtic manager.
“A big part of sport is about overcoming challenges and things that haven’t worked out in the past.”
Speaking ahead of League Cup fixtures, with Celtic’s game against Kilmarnock ahead of Sunday’s encounter between Rangers and Aberdeen, Postecoglou was ambivalent about how his players would approach the game.
“We have been consistent in our performance as we approach every game with a similar mindset,” he said.
“No game is more important than another.
“But when you get to the floor tomorrow, the players will feel like it’s not just a three-point game. You notice a difference.
“Whether you have experience or not, the nature of a semi-final means there will always be an advantage, even for the oldest of campaigners. You are one step away from a final.”
Postecoglou expects minimal changes for the Celtic and Kilmarnock sides who played each other in the Scottish Premiership last week, as Celtic won 2-0.
“Both teams will have a real resolve not to back down because they know the consequences,” he said.
“I don’t expect a totally different approach to last week. Derek [McInnes, Kilmarnock manager] set up his team last week to stop us and that made it difficult for us for a lot of the game. I think the approaches will be the same.”