Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Lennon craves double success for Celtic

Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham (right) and Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured yesterday in Drumpellier Country Park, Coatbridge, during the first leg of Sir Ian's 14th charity walk, in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research
Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham (left) and Celtic manager Neil Lennon walk in Drumpellier Country Park, Coatbridge, during the first leg of Sir Ian's 14th charity walk, in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research
Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham (centre) and Celtic manager Neil Lennon (4th left) join walkers in Drumpellier Country Park, Coatbridge, during the first leg of Sir Ian's 14th charity walk, in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Neil Lennon is still basking in the afterglow of his first Clydesdale Bank Premier League title win as Celtic boss - but is gearing up to make it a league and cup double.

The Hoops' 6-0 win at Kilmarnock at the weekend clinched the Parkhead club's first SPL championship in four years and left the Northern Irishman delighted.

Celtic take on Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday and it is to the national stadium that Lennon and his players have turned their attention.

"It has been fabulous," said the former Hoops skipper, speaking yesterday in Drumpellier Country Park, Coatbridge, before joining Sir Ian Botham in a charity walk in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

"We gave the boys a couple of days off and then we were back into training on Wednesday.

"They were in great form and great spirits as you can imagine and psychologically, winning the title will give them a huge lift.

"We have a big game on Sunday obviously, we are back preparing for that as best we can."

Lennon believes the title-winning party at Rugby Park will persuade Fraser Forster to make his move to Parkhead permanent.

The Hoops boss is keen to retain the big keeper, who is nearing the end of his second loan spell at the Glasgow club from Newcastle.

"We are hoping to speak to his agent and Fraser himself in the next few weeks," said Lennon.

"He knows we are very keen to get things tied up with him as he has had a fantastic two seasons here.

"The feeling he may have got on Saturday - I think it would be very difficult for him to leave here now.

"He is making all the right noises at the minute so it is a case of getting things sorted out."

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