"No – we want to win it," was the pointed response to that question, though the caveat: "It's maybe un-realistic, but why would you want to finish third?" confirmed the Parkhead boss was not still suffering a hangover from celebrating qualification the night before.
Lennon accepts Barcelona – the winners in such awe-inspiring style two seasons ago, and the side he describes as the ultimate test for any opponent – are heavy and justified favourites to win the section.
But he can seen no reason why Benfica, Spartak Moscow – Aiden McGeady, et al – and his own team can't have a serious scrap for second spot, and a place in the last 16, a target he describes as "do-able.
His philosophy is simple: Aim low, and you will certainly not achieve anything higher.
Lennon has belief in the players he has got, and is confident that, if he can bring in the two or three pieces of extra quality he hopes to secure before the transfer window closes tonight, the team he continues to build can reach heights even they might not realise at this moment they can achieve.
"I would like not to just take part in the Champions League, but to compete in it," is Lennon's in-your-face approach. "With what I've got, there is a good core, and we will be competitive. But we are a bit thin and there's no doubt we need to add a few bits of quality in there."
His players know they will be up against some of the finest players the game has to offer, the bulk of them wearing the famous colours of Barcelona.
He was only half joking when he suggested Barca might be minded to just field Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi in the games against Celtic, in which case the SPL champions might have a chance.
But for all his open admiration for the La Liga club, Lennon can cling to the knowledge they are not quite the force they were when they destroyed Manchester United to lift the Champions League 16 months ago.
That said, they remain a formid-able outfit, led by the majestic Messi. But the Argentinian and his team-mates will be every bit as big a problem for Benfica – who the Hoops open up against on September 19 at Parkhead – and Spartak Moscow as they will be for Celtic.
So it is in the games against the Portuguese and the Russians that Celtic's fate will lie. Lennon watched his players as they sat together at their Lennoxtown training complex, their gaze fixed on the televised draw.
He spoke to them briefly afterwards, but knows it was only when they got home and had time to mull over what lies ahead of them in the next four months that the excitement and bravado might have given way to trepidation.
For most, the Champions League is a jump into the unknown. But the fact they have four wins in Europe already this season to carry with them should allow his Bhoys to look forward with anticipation, not trepidation.
As a player, Lennon has been to the Nou Camp twice, and emerged with draws on both occasions. He has helped Celtic defeat Benfica. And he has watched the club overcome Spartak Moscow – even on their plastic pitch – to reach the Champions League five years ago.
More than anyone, Lennon knows how far confidence and a willingness to test yourself against the best can take you.
He believes this group of players are ready to find that out for themselves, and said: "It's about having a little bit of self-belief now.
"They will have got a huge boost in that regard from Wednesday night. We've overcome two really difficult ties in qualifying for the Champions League, and you never know where this can take you.
"The beauty is that the expectation has shifted from being huge on us to get into the group stage, to a point where there's really being no expectation on us at all now. The players handled the whole qualifying thing very well, and the mentality has been excellent. I was very surprised over the days running up this week's game. There was a quiet confidence about them – which was totally the opposite from their manager."
That was honesty, not self-deprecation, as Lennon was a bag of nerves in the run-up to the Helsingborgs game. Now the money has been banked, he can enjoy the challenge, and wants his players to do the same.
"It's a tough, tough group," he admitted, "but all the teams in it play good football, so it should be quite attractive to watch. It's all new to most of our players, but it's where we want to be, and what we have worked so hard for.
"Benfica will be strong, and Moscow will be strong because they have financial clout behind them. But anything can happen in the group stage, particularly if we can start it well and maximise our home advantage. We have to improve our away record to give ourselves any chance of going through."