Joe Hart targets the ultimate Celtic farewell and 4 returning teammates can make it a fairytale ending

Joe Hart now knows that the Scottish Cup final will bring down the curtain on his glittering career.

The big keeper is determined to make sure he bows out of Celtic with a silver-lined finish that includes lifting the Premiership and Scottish Cup. Hart wants to make sure the next six games bring a double and he and Celtic end on a high. The final game will be the Scottish Cup final with Rangers at Hampden on May 25th.

Hart admitted: “It could be (a good way to bow out), hopefully. I’ve got a date now. I’ve got a date that I know is going to be the final game that I am available to be involved in. Who knows what is going to happen in the next five weeks? Hopefully I’ll be fit and in form and picked to play. It’s all set up though.”

The Hampden showcase promises to be an emotional day for Hart and his nearest and dearest as it will be at the game where he says his final playing farewell. “When you get to my age your circle gets a lot smaller,” Hart said.

“I’ve got a lot of people who mean the absolute world to me and it is an important time for myself as a person and as a family member. I’ve got some great friends who hopefully will be there to share this moment with me who have been there through the good times and the bad.”

Hart is ready to park that for the next five games. Rangers are trying to chase Celtic down in the Premiership and Hart knows there is no room for sentiment or error. The Hoops need to keep the foot down going into the top six split, starting with Sunday’s trip to Dundee. Hart knows nothing is decided in the title race and there is plenty of work still to be done if Celtic want to remain on top.

He said: “Nothing is done. We’ve just got to take care of our business and focus on the next game. It is a huge opportunity this week to get a good training week into us and go into a huge game at Dundee.

“Yes, at the moment (we are ahead), but there’s a long way to go. Nothing is done, we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we’ve put ourselves in a good spot and we’re feeling good.”

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has already warned his team that they can’t go soft. Hart agreed: “One hundred percent. We’re focused, we’ve got a lot of energy and we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us. By no means have we strolled this season. We need to be at it to be successful.”

Celtic were made to work all the way for their Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen. Hart was eventually the penalty-saving hero, although he did miss his kick in the shootout. Hart knows there have been times when his team haven’t been at the top of his game, like at Hampden, but Celtic dug it out and that is what they need to do over these remaining six games.

The Englishman admitted: “We’ve had warning signs all season. There’s no excuse. It’s not been a perfect season, but we’re digging in. At the right moments we are playing our stuff, but there are also moments when the games are tight and tough and we are still managing to do our thing.

“We will see, we have set it all up but there is still plenty of work to d We’ve got a great opportunity of a good training week ahead of us, we will then go there (Dundee) and put it all on the line.”

The good thing for Celtic is that all their main players, like Callum McGregor, Cameron Carter-VIckers and Reo Hatate, are all now back in the fold, apart from Daizen Maeda, who is also making quicker than expected progress from a hamstring issue.

Hart thinks that is a big positive. He said: “Everyone is fit apart from the obvious issue we have with Daizen, but hopefully we are going to get him back before the end of the season. Everyone else is fit and available, and everyone wants to do their best to put us in the best place possible.”

The other main positive is that the Celtic squad is filled with players who are proven winners and they could b vital in the final straight. One of them is James Forrest, who is no longer a regular, but showed at Hampden he can still make a big impact from the bench, netting against Aberdeen.

Hart added: “I just wish his goal was the winner. He has been exceptional. I couldn’t think any higher of him as a person. James sets the standards.

“He’s been out of squads this season, and he has just trained brilliantly every single day. We’ve had injury problems, the club have made commitments to other players with contracts and things like that, that’s life at the top end. But James Forrest hasn’t flinched. James Forrest has been exceptional every time he has been called upon.

“He is exceptional in training, he came on and really calmed us down, he was brilliant on Sunday. I just wish we could have finished the game at 2-1 in 90 minutes and then it would be James having the conversations afterwards.”

Hart, however, hopes he and Celtic can have the final word or two in this Scottish top-flight season.