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Things can only get better: Lennon
Published : 22 May 2011 09:28:29
A trophy in his first season is not enough for Neil Lennon. He is hungry for more success. Neil Lennon looks about to be offered a new contract after steering his side to a deserved 3-0 Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell. Lennon - who has been working to a six-month rolling contract - looks set to have something else to celebrate in the weeks ahead after the club's majority shareholder Dermot Desmond said he wants the manager to stay at Celtic "for a very long time". Responding to those comments, Lennon said: "I'm pleased. It's great to hear, although he's not said that to me yet! He's been a great supporter. This time last year, after Ross County, he was on the phone to me and gave me great encouragement. Throughout the season he has given me a lot of good advice, as has (chief executive) Peter Lawwell and (chairman) John Reid. The support I've had from behind the scenes has been fantastic and we will sit down hopefully in the next week or two and see where we go from there. I love the job, I love the challenge that lies ahead. I've had great backing from the board in general. There is a conflict of feelings because we didn't win the league but there is a lot of satisfaction from the season overall. It's nice to put a trophy in the cabinet and hopefully we can build on that." The contract talks will no doubt be dealt with over the next few weeks but Lennon is already planning for the season ahead. He said: "I didn't feel any extra pressure going into the game today and I haven't felt much under pressure at all this season. It might be a bit more next season when the expectation builds but that comes with the territory of being the manager of Celtic. We will enjoy tonight and hopefully we will come back better and stronger next year." Losing out on the league title hit Lennon hard, even in his debut season as permanent manager. Now that he has picked up some silverware, he is more optimistic for the future. Considering the return on his investment of blood, sweat and tears, Lennon said: "I wouldn't say it's a weight off my shoulder but it's nice to have it on my CV. Winning the Scottish Cup isn't enough in terms of what I would have wanted from the season. But it's important and important to me personally. It's a great feeling. I'm more pleased for the players and the supporters than anyone else. It's been a great day for the club. We could have been more clinical but to win a cup final 3-0, and play in the style we have tried to play all season, is very pleasing. I'd like to congratulate Motherwell for their contribution to the game. We haven't had a trophy at the club for a couple of years, which is probably not good enough for a club of our standing. I said to the players that they have to cherish these days. We were a dominant team under Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan and sometimes you take that for granted. When you don't have it, you realise what you have when it's not there. It's a nice way to end the season. They've got a taste of winning a trophy and I hope they are feeling good about themselves tonight." Lennon has added some key players to the squad and is keen to unearth some more gems, while urging his current crop of players to learn from the mistakes of this season. He said: "I've enjoyed the challenge and I've enjoyed watching the players grow into the season. Hopefully we will learn from where we went wrong this season and try to eradicate that. I'd like to bring a few more quality players in to top up the squad. We are delighted with the standard the players have set themselves and I personally think they will only get better."