Brown backs Lennon’s winning ways after manager is offered contract extension

Celtic make it an unprecedented nine consecutive domestic trophies with 2-1 cup victory over Hearts

Celtic manager Neil Lennon with the Scottish Cup after their victory over Hearts  at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Photograph:  Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon with the Scottish Cup after their victory over Hearts at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

 

Midfielder Scott Brown has backed Neil Lennon to continue the winning mentality at Celtic after the manager was offered a long-term extension to his contract.

Celtic made the dramatic move in the immediate aftermath of their Scottish Cup final win over Hearts, with the deal expected to be finalised in the coming days.

Lennon returned to Celtic Park in February following Brendan Rodgers’ sudden exit for Leicester, and has helped deliver the treble treble, with the champions ultimately finishing nine points ahead of Rangers in the league.

The former Northern Ireland midfielder has now managed to get Celtic over the line in four of their eight consecutive title triumphs, and Brown is in no doubt he will continue to pass on his will to win to the players.

Ahead of the impending appointment, the midfielder said: “He was phenomenal for me first time around and he will be phenomenal for the lads.

“They will all learn because he’s a winner. He wants to win trophies, and he’s in the right place for that.

“He will go away and have a little holiday and let his hair down, and then he will come in, there is a lot of recruitment to be done. He will bring in new players, he will bring in quality players.

“He has done that in the past, he brought in Victor [Wanyama], he brought in Virg [Van Dijk]. He’s got a great eye for a player, and I am sure he will do that again.”

Brown also described Celtic’s achievements this season as “phenomenal” after they made it an unprecedented nine consecutive domestic trophies with a 2-1 victory over Hearts.

Ryan Edwards gave the underdogs the lead in the 52nd minute, but Odsonne Edouard soon equalised from the penalty spot, and the French striker clinched the win eight minutes from time.

“The lads have worked well all season,” Brown added. “We have had to dig deep in some games. A lot of people wrote us off, said we have not had a great season, but we’ve won the three trophies that were there for us to win.

“Yet again we have managed to go 1-0 down, possibly we got a little bit lucky but we have scored two phenomenal goals.

“Odsonne, the way he has taken the penalty under that much pressure, all the Hearts players walking up to him and trying to put him under.

“They always try that, it’s Craig Levein’s tactic and that’s what he tries to do, but yet again Odsonne is better than that.”

Big occasion

Celtic have now won on 11 consecutive trips to Hampden, and Brown feels their mentality shines through on the big occasion.

“We just believe,” the 33-year-old said. “Brendan set the mindset coming to Hampden that we would dominate games, score goals and create chances, and defend better than we ever did before.

“We are a lot fitter than we have ever been in our careers, and we keep pushing. It’s that belief in each other. When we look around, we know there are goals all around the park.

“I’m very proud to have captained the lads, to have played with some of the superstars we have got in this team. Here’s hoping for a lot more [trophies].

“We need to make sure we get Champions League now. We need to push for that and make sure we start the season really well.”

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