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Lennon hopes Tynecastle win cements permanent Celtic role

Hearts 1 Celtic 2

Neil Lennon believes Celtic's final day 2-1 victory over Hearts, his eighth Clydesdale Bank Premier League win in a row, represents his most persuasive job application for the manager's post at the Glasgow club.

Robbie Keane's first-half opener had been cancelled out by Jambos skipper Marius Zaliukas before a wonderful volley by Chinese midfielder Zheng Zhi on the hour mark gave Lennon the perfect end to his time as interim manager.

The Parkhead club are set to release a statement explaining the process under which they will recruit their new manager but the 38-year-old Northern Irishman said: “I have seen the statement and it's just about the process of nominating the new manager.

“There are people who have applied for the job. I think that was my application there, against Hearts. I don't know who (has applied) but the board have been true to their word that they haven't spoken to anyone until the season is over and I can't thank them enough. I am content with things and I would like to thank them for the opportunity of taking the team in the first place.

“It is a very important decision to make in terms of the future of the club. But I have things to do, I have to finish my Pro-license, I have a club visit to do and I have booked my holidays. I'm making sure I get two weeks this year.”

Lennon also had a message for the Celtic fans if he does not lead the team again.

He said: “I would thank them for all their support, particularly the ones who came at home to the Motherwell and Hibs game when the stadium was half empty and the ones who came to the away games after the Ross County defeat. They were tremendous and gave the team unbelievable backing.”

l HIBERNIAN manager John Hughes is relishing the chance to lead his side into a continental adventure after a 2-0 win at Dundee United secured a place in the Europa League next season.

Colin Nish netted twice to give Hibs victory at Tannadice and guarantee a fourth-place finish for the Easter Road men thanks to Motherwell's 3-3 draw with Rangers at Ibrox.

Hughes said: “It has been a fantastic season and I think the boys have deserved fourth spot.”

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