EXCLUSIVE: Neil Lennon says Celtic don't need Rangers in SPL to savour title triumph

NEIL LENNON today insisted Rangers' absence from the SPL won't tarnish Celtic's runaway title procession.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Neil Lennon is delighted with his Celtic players
Neil Lennon is delighted with his Celtic players

The Parkhead club are a whopping 21 points clear and a possible four games away from clinching back-to-back championships under Lennon.

And the Hoops boss is thrilled at the prospect of ensuring that the SPL trophy stays in Celtic's cabinet. Shooting down any talk of tainted titles, he said: "People can say what they like.

"We won the league last season by 20 points and Rangers were there. The reality is they are not here and we have still managed to motor on.

"I have been really pleased with the consistency. That is us scored 100 goals in all competitions now this season and it's a fantastic return.

"I have to say we are delighted with what we are doing and the direction that the team is going. I don't think anyone can ask too many questions of us."

Last season Lennon's Celtic returned from the dead to claim the title after being 15 points behind Rangers at one stage. The Ibrox side were docked ten points for going into administration and Lennon felt at the time that his side didn't quite get the recognition they deserved for hauling themselves back into the title race.

And while this season's triumph will come at a canter, Lennon is insistent that it will be every bit as satisfying.

"Every title is the same and the next one is always the most important one," he said.

"As a manager you sit down every season and set out your priorities, and top of the agenda for us every year is winning that league.

"We've hit a few targets that we set for ourselves, but the next one is to get through the rest of this season unbeaten.

"We want to keep it going. The boys are in good nick, they are playing some really good football, they look like they're enjoying it and we want to maintain that until the end of the season if we can."

Lennon will look to sit down with Joe Ledley over the next few weeks, but he is also preparing to offer Anthony Stokes another deal with the club.

The Irish striker is out of contract at the end of this season, although Celtic look set to extend that. However, Lennon has hinted that Paddy McCourt's time at the club is coming to an end after the playmaker has spent another frustrating season on the periphery of things.

"We have an option on Anthony," said Lennon. "If he keeps performing the way that he did at the weekend then I don't think that he will have any problems.

"Paddy has found it hard this season to get a regular berth and I appreciate that can be a frustrating position for him to be in at this stage of his career.

"I'll be speaking to him before now and the end of the season."

Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

116704

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Indyref outcome tore my heart out but the dream is not over

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Meet Charlie the referendum rooster who decided the result in his own unique way

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.