Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said that the team’s Scottish Cup final win over Hearts, which sealed a fourth consecutive domestic treble, left him feeling “unique” and was a “monumental achievement”.
The holders were taken to penalties by Championship side Hearts in a thrilling game that finished 3-3 after extra-time, when Conor Hazard saved two spot kicks to help his side win the shootout 4-3.
Victory meant Lennon became the first person to win the domestic treble as both a player and a manager, having achieved the clean sweep of all three trophies as a player in 2001.
The manager, who has been heavily criticised and under pressure after some disappointing recent results, said: “I must be doing something right.
“If it was that easy it would have been done long before me.
“It is unique, I feel unique at the minute. It is something very special to me.
“I said to the players: ‘I need this as much as you need it’, and you seen them all at the end, how much they felt for me as well and my backroom team, who are important to me.
“It is a culmination of a lot of hard work over 20 years but I feel fantastic. I know I don’t look it but I feel it.
“It is very special to me. It is a great source of personal pride.”
Lennon said that his players would be talked about in years to come after completing a run of 12 trophy wins, and a record fourth consecutive Scottish Cup.
“They will talk about this group of players in 30 or 40 years’ time and they will thoroughly deserve it,” he said. “It is a monumental achievement.
I feel so proud and pride in my players and backroom staff. John Kennedy has been an absolute rock.
“So this is as much for him and I want to thank [Celtic chief executive] Peter Lawwell, [majority shareholder] Dermot Desmond and the board for all the support they gave me.
“It’s a great achievement. You will never see that done again.”