Saturday 16 November 2019

Lennon wants further success after clinching Hoops third title in a row

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon celebrates during the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Celtic Manager Neil Lennon celebrates during the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Neil Lennon is looking to keep building on success after his Celtic side clinched the Scottish Premiership title with an emphatic 5-1 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill last night.

It was the Hoops' third successive championship win and was achieved in style, with only one defeat in the league, to Aberdeen at Pittodrie, and they were in top form against the Jags.

A double from Anthony Stokes, and strikes from Liam Henderson - his first for the club - Stefan Johansen and Kris Commons swept Thistle away as Alan Archibald's side could only muster a Christie Elliott consolation.

Lennon, who will be odds-on to secure title number four next season, said: "We are seeing the evolution of another team.

"It is not just about domestic success, we strive to be a successful Champions League side, which is important.

"We have had two campaigns and we will do everything we can to have a third one, and I will look to improve on the domestic cup competitions but in terms of the league, I couldn't ask for any more from the players.

"There are some truly world class players here. I think in Virgil van Dijk you have everything you want in a modern-day centre-half and in Fraser Forster you have one of the greatest goalkeepers in Celtic's history and he can go on to be anything he wants to be.

"Scott Brown has been magnificent and Charlie Mulgrew, Leigh Griffiths, Kris Commons, James Forrest; they are the core of the team and players I can hang my hat on, but all the players have made contributions to where we are."

It was a traumatic night for the Maryhill men who found themselves behind after only three minutes when the unmarked Stokes headed in an Emilio Izaguirre cross.

Boss Alan Archibald is looking for his 10th-placed side to put the thumping behind them and prepare for the trip to St Johnstone at the weekend, when they will continue in their bid to stay away from the relegation play-off spot.

"The main focus is on Saturday," he said.

"Celtic started really positively and they went after us. We gave them that goal and they took the wind out of our sails.

"They did the same in the second half and it is hard to play against a team in that form.

"But we have only had to play Celtic three times in a season and no disrespect to St Johnstone, Celtic are totally different altogether .

"You seen that in the second half, Commons, Stokes and Leigh Griffiths are a real problem for anybody.

"We have seven games which are seven cup finals."

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