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Derek McInnes remains adamant that Kilmarnock were denied a penalty against Celtic in the ViaPlay Cup last season as he prepares to host the Hoops in the last-16 of the competition on Sunday.

The Parkhead side were leading by an early Daizen Maeda opener in the semi-final at Hampden Park in January as the match entered six added minutes added time.

A clumsy challenge by Celtic substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis on Killie defender Joe Wright inside the box was then ignored by referee Willie Collum.

Giakoumakis then tapped in a second to clinch a spot in the final for the Hoops with Killie boss McInnes saying afterwards: “Joe Wright was manhandled. There is no way Giakoumakis can get to the ball but he has come through him, two arms round him. It is a penalty kick.”

It was a self-aware McInnes who revisited the incident at his media conference at Rugby Park on Thursday.

He said: “Last season at Hampden we felt really aggrieved that we didn’t get the chance to take it to extra-time.

“Nothing will change my mind that we should have had a penalty kick in the last minute of the game.

“Celtic were firm favourites and it is not to say they wouldn’t have gone on to win it in extra-time but we did deserve the chance to go to extra-time.

“I believe the referee was told it was maybe worth having a look at and the referee thought he seen it for what it was, he thought it was a defender trying to buy a penalty.

“But maybe he should have been told to see the incident – here’s me, let it go Derek – he should have been made to go and see the incident and if he still arrives at the same conclusion then it is down to the referee’s perception but for me it was a penalty.

“We did a lot right in the game, we carried a threat, we played with two strikers, we tried to impose ourselves on the game and that was at Hampden.

“But you have to do so much right in the game against them to try to limit the opportunities and get the balance between defending and attacking.

“Obviously, it is now a cup tie here. We didn’t offer up anything in the two (league) games against Celtic here (5-0 and 4-1 defeats) and it is important to show, as we did against Rangers (1-0 win on opening day of league season), that there is a different side to us this season.

“We feel we are a team that can win a cup. We have to feel that and say that.

“Obviously the draw is tough, we are up against a team who have dominated cup competitions in the last wee while so it is important for us to see the opportunity that is there.

“If we can win this one it can set us up nicely for the rest of the competition.”