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Neil Lennon hungry to build on Celtic's runaway title triumph

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has set his sights on winning more trophies next season after guiding his team to the Scottish Premiership title with a 5-1 win over Partick Thistle last night.

Anthony Stokes opened the scoring just four minutes in before substitute Liam Henderson doubled the lead and Stefan Johansen netted a third.

Christie Elliot grabbed a goal back five minutes from time but Stokes and Kris Commons both scored in stoppage-time as the Hoops claimed their 27th win from 31 league games and a third consecutive title.

Celtic failed in the domestic cup competitions, though, and Lurgan native Lennon instantly switched his attention to winning more silverware next term.

"(That's) nine now since 2000/2001 so a domination continues and you can see the progress the team is making," he said.

"(We want to) improve on our Champions League this year, we had a great year last year, and obviously in the cup competitions try and improve on that as well

"But in terms of our league form, our consistency and the quality of performances has been fantastic, it's what the Celtic public demand and it's certainly the style of football that is very, very pleasing at the minute."

Lennon admitted his side's participation in Europe's premier club competition may well have had an impact on their performances on the domestic front over the last couple of years.

The Hoops' Champions League campaign commenced against Cliftonville way back on July 17 and the Parkhead boss acknowledged that the exploits of a long, hard season must be taken into account.

"We lost seven last year and ended up with 79 points," he reflected.

"We looked at the Champions League and how much that took out of us.

"The Champions League this year took a bit out of us as well but we wanted to stay focused on being consistent in the league and we'll come back next year and try and improve on our league form and certainly our cup form as well."

With Rangers still languishing in the lower leagues many see Celtic winning the top flight as a foregone conclusion but Lennon rejected that suggestion and praised his players.

"We're just an outstanding team, we're an outstanding club at the minute," he said.

"It's brilliantly run, the strategy is spot on, I've got really good people working behind the scenes and I've got a fantastic football team.

"A great bunch of boys with attitude and enthusiasm, their will to win is everything you could ask for from a manager and I'm very, very proud of them and we march forward."

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