NEIL LENNON believes Celtic’s ninth successive title is the BEST yet.
The Premiership crown was awarded to the Parkhead side today following a meeting of the SPFL to call a premature conclusion to the season.
The Irishman’s side were on top of the league with a 13-point advantage over Rangers with eight games to play when football went into cold storage in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ironically, Lennon was in charge of the team when they embarked upon their record-equalling feat with three league crowns from 2012 to 2014.
After Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers had added two flags each, the former club captain returned in February last year in an interim capacity to guide the Bhoys to their eighth success as well as leading them to a Scottish Cup triumph on the May 25 day he was give the job on a permanent basis.
Lennon, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “To be sitting here now as the manager of the nine-in-a-row, and having played a huge part in that, fills me with so much pride
“It feels wonderful and I’m so proud of the players. It’s an incredible record and to be part of that is something very special, and I think it’s thoroughly deserved, as well. And also to the fans, in these difficult times, I hope this gives them a huge shot in the arm.
“It’s the best, no question it’s the best and I’ve enjoyed the season immensely. I enjoyed the European campaign and winning the League Cup and I enjoyed working with the players every day, I enjoyed working with my staff.
“Whether you look at the first half of the season or the second half of the season, we’ve played some brilliant football throughout, and then you throw in the European campaign, you throw in the League Cup. A lot of that gets overlooked with all that’s been going on around Scottish football of late.
“The style of play pleased me, the amount of goals pleased me and we had massive contributions from numerous individual players, as well.
“The cold hard facts are that we were in fantastic form and we were playing very exciting, attacking, free-flowing football, whether that be in the first half of the season or the second half of the season. We also had a massive goal difference and, from the second half of the season on, the players just kept getting better and better.
“If you look at this record, it will never be seen again. That’s 11 trophies in a row – eleven! That is amazing consistency, amazing desire, amazing talent. They just keep wanting to get better and there’s no question that, while other teams were improving this season, we were improving, too, and the stats show that.
“I think the right decision has finally come to fruition and the players can be very proud of their achievements.”
Celtic hit the ground running when they returned after the mid-winter break. They dropped only two points from a possible 30 – the 2-2 draw at Livingston in March – while their nearest challengers from Ibrox faltered big style.
Steven Gerrard, in his second season as Gers gaffer, saw his team lose to Hearts, Kilmarnock and Hamilton Accies and draw with Aberdeen and St Johnstone.
It left their title hopes in tatters and there was also bad news when they toppled out of the Scottish Cup, beaten at Tynecastle.