Sunday, 12 May 2013
CELTIC CELEBRATE TITLE NUMBER 44
In somehow a lowkey celebration compared to the Bundesliga champions, Celtic Fc claimed their 44th league title in grand style as they defeated Saints Johnstone 4 goals to nil
The game included a 19th minute tribute to Stiliyan Petrov
Neil Lennon said that the latest triumph was achieved with more ease because Rangers are in the Third Division. But the Celtic boss — strongly linked with the managerial vacancy at Everton — insisted his players still deserved all the credit going.
In an emotional post-match address he earned rapturous applause from the Hoops fans by saluting the club’s 125 years of “unbroken” history.
It was a cheeky dig at the fate of Gers, who plunged into liquidation last summer.
Lennon later spoke of what keeping the SPL trophy means to him and the club.
He said: “This triumph is better because it’s the next one.
“We proved that we are not a flash in the pan team.
“I know there will be a lot of people out there saying there’s no Rangers, that it was a one-horse race.
“And in essence there is something to that. We’re not going to shy away from it.
“But we’ve a job to do, we’ve a responsibility to keep winning trophies.
“It’s part of the DNA here — and to win in a certain way.
“Ten in a row is a long way off, a long way off. The next target’s the third and we’ll take it step by step.
"You can never take football for granted. You can never take these days, these achievements, for granted. There’s a lot of work goes into it.
“Eventually Rangers will come back and they will be strong opposition over the next few years, I would imagine.”
Celtic brushed St Johnstone aside in convincing style.
And big-hearted Lennon — who handed his title medal to a little girl supporter in the main stand — said: “Since the turn of the year I think the home form has been as good as I’ve seen in my time here.
“I think we’ve won 12 out of 12 and the least goals we’ve scored has been the 3-0 win over Hibs. Everything else has been four, five and there was even a six against Dundee United.
“We’ve played some spectacular football at home.
“We know we’ve got to tidy up away from home.
“But the league’s won now and we can really focus on the Cup final coming up.
“The manner of the win today was the most pleasing thing.
“Obviously, it’s a very significant day when you pick up the championship trophy.
“We put out a strong team as preparation for the Cup final and I thought we were fantastic. Our football, well there was a flow to it. There was an energy, there was a freshness about the team.
“These are days you want to cherish and it’s important for the players to appreciate what they have done because it goes by very quickly.”