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'We're going for 10 in a row': Neil Lennon issues rallying call for Celtic title record after claiming his 'best' Premiership crown yet

 

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Neil Lennon has now won five league titles as Celtic manager.

Neil Lennon has now won five league titles as Celtic manager.

PA Archive/PA Images

Neil Lennon has now won his fifth league title as Celtic manager.

Neil Lennon has now won his fifth league title as Celtic manager.

PA

Neil Lennon has now won five league titles as Celtic manager.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says the 19/20 league title is the best of his career so far and admitted the club is on the cusp of a 'momentous' ten-in-a-row achievement.

After a meeting of the clubs on Monday morning, the Hoops were officially crowned champions as the season was brought to an immediate halt.

Celtic were 13 points clear of second placed Rangers, albeit having played a game more.

Lurgan man Lennon said supporters should not allow detractors to take away from the joy of their record-equalling nine-in-a-row success, adding that his side were 'champions for a reason'.

In fact, he hailed the title as the greatest of his career to date; better than the five he won as a player and four previous titles he won across two spells as Celtic boss.

"It's the best," he smiled on Sky Sports. "Going into this season, we knew nine was within our grasp but so far away as well.

"To be standing here as a manager of a club with nine titles in a row is something you dream of. From a personal view, it's very pleasing.

"Without doubt this is the best one of the lot."

It all seemed a little further away on December 18, when Rangers stormed Celtic Park to win 2-1 and climb to within two points of their table-topping rivals with a game in hand.

Gers boss Steven Gerrard let that famous roar of delight down the Sky Sports camera but shortly after the restart from the league's winter break, his side stuttered and Celtic took advantage to build a telling lead.

"It was a pressure season but we smashed it, particularly the second half of the season," added Lennon. "Some of the football was outstanding. We were on track for 100 goals and 100 points. The consistency and the brand of football we played was really pleasing. I have to pay tribute to my players and staff, whose professionalism was incredible.

"We had a really good first half of the season then when we lost to Rangers at the end of December everybody was asking questions of the team. We had a good winter break and we came out of the traps in the second half. We really steam rollered through it, playing good football."

Lennon insisted the decision to end the season was the right one for the sake of Scottish football, although admitted he has sympathy with relegated Hearts.

"There are going to be a lot of clubs under pressure, who don't have the resources other clubs do, and the longer we're without the revenue streams coming in, the more damaging it will be for the game," he explained.

"This is a cut-off point and Scottish football can start looking to the future. We had to make decisions sooner rather than later for the sake of the game here."

Celtic will now return to training on June 10 to prepare for the 20/21 campaign, whatever it may look like, in the knowledge that it could be a record-breaking season for his side.

"I can now safely say we can go for the ten (titles in a row)," he said. "I've been sitting on that for quite a while and thinking about it throughout the season.

"When I got the job this time last year, fans were talking about 10 but we had to get to nine first.

"I can't believe I'm saying it. I remember when we lost the league in 2011 and saying it was the beginning of something special. I could never have envisaged just how special that would be. I have to pay tribute to Brendan Rodgers and Ronnie Deila, who have played a huge part and I'm sure can take a lot of pride in what the club has achieved.

"Going for the ten; it's historic, it's momentous and very special. We'll be going all out to do that."

Belfast Telegraph