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Lennon: We won't rest until after Cup Final

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon holds the Scottish Premier League trophy following the final home game of the season against St Johnstone, at Celtic Park. Picture: Reuters/Russell Cheyne.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon holds the Scottish Premier League trophy following the final home game of the season against St Johnstone, at Celtic Park. Picture: Reuters/Russell Cheyne.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon holds the Scottish Premier League trophy following the final home game of the season against St Johnstone, at Celtic Park. Picture: Reuters/Russell Cheyne.

Neil Lennon won't allow his players to coast through Sunday's final league game at Dundee United.

Celtic will complete their season at Hampden seven days later in the Scottish Cup Final against Hibs but Lennon won't tolerate any passengers at Tannadice.

Since booking their place in the final the Celtic squad has been fully utilised with all of the regulars enjoying a week off ahead of a cup final, international duty and Champions League qualifiers starting in mid July.

Victor Wanyama and Beram Kayal are suspended for the final, limiting Lennon's midfield options, but the hoops boss wants to see his players give their all in the final fixture of their title winning season.

 

INTENSITY

"We want to win on Sunday, it's part of our cup final preparations," the Celtic boss stated. "I want the players to be at their best, there is obviously the chance of picking up an injury but that's the case in every game.

"They have to keep the football level high, maintain the intensity and match sharpness. We'll prepare as well as we can for Dundee United then think about the cup final."

Skipper Scott Brown made a surprise appearance against St Johnstonr last week- three months after undergoing hip surgery. Lennon shares a special bond with his captain and is hoping that he can come through Sunday's match unscathed to lead the team out at Hampden.

"It was a big bonus to have Scott back last week," the Celtic boss added. "He had looked a bit rusty in training which was understandable but he played so well against St Johnstone.

"Maybe the euphoria kept him going, he might have a dip against Dundee United but we expect that. It's great having him back and looking so free in his running.

"He's looked well in training this week and it gives everyone a boost to have him back in the team."

Meanwhile, Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld has told Lennon the job as Everton manager could not touch the one he has at Celtic.

The Lurgan-born boss, who won his second successive Scottish Premier League title this season and took the Hoops to the last 16 of the Champions League, is one of the favourites to take over from David Moyes at Goodison.

It has also been reported that another Premier League club, Stoke, are considering the former Parkhead skipper as a candidate to replace Tony Pulis at the end of the season.

However, former midfielder Auld, who played in the Celtic side which became the first British team to win the European Cup when they beat Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon in 1967, said: "I think Neil should be here next season.

"I think he has done a good job but I still think he has a lot to learn and I will tell you this much, it doesn't matter which club he goes to, it won't be the same as this one.

"What he has to do is look into himself and say 'are any of these jobs better than the one I have?'

"I don't know what he thinks but I know one thing, any of the jobs which are up at this particular moment, they couldn't touch Celtic."


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