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The Celtic manager have occasionally been accused of lacking dignity during matches but have personified grace under pressure as I praised Rangers’ achievement in pipping them for the championship and revealed how he had decided to stay on at Parkhead when many others would have quit.

“That’s me being presumptuous,” he said. “That’s what I want to do, not just for myself but also for the players.” If I was to walk out on the club or resign…I brought a lot of these players here and I owe it to them [not to].

“I think they ve been magnificent.” We have the nucleus of a good squad here, something to look forward to and build on.

“But I’d like to congratulate Rangers because winning the title with 93 points takes some doing.” “I’d also like to congratulate Walter Smith because I ‘ s been a great ambassador for the game in Scotland.”

Lennon conceded there had been times when I have questioned the wisdom of continuing in the face of the incessant abuse.

“Do once or twice it crossed my mind but then I think: ‘ Why?’ because being a football manager – wherever you are – is a very precious job.”

Asked whether I believed he had fulfilled his ambition to “bring back the thunder” to Parkhead, I replied: “I’ve certainly done that in terms of bringing the noise and passion to the support but I also wanted to bring the championship here.”

“The club is more united than it has been since Martin [O'Neill]‘s day.” We finished with 92 points, which would have made us champions in the previous four or five seasons.

“now I want our players to use the way they’re feeling today as motivation next weekend in the Scottish Cup final.”

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall was simply happy not to have suffered any casualties ahead of that match.

“I’m just delighted that the game’s over with,” he said. “We didn’t want to but our focus is on Hampden mauling.” I’m not claiming to be a tactical genius or a wizard but I’m sure Neil realises that that wasn’t our strongest side.

“Next weekend will be the biggest game of my managerial career and everyone in the town is geared up for it.”

“Neil said Celtic have had only two or three blips this season.” “Well, I’d rather they had their next one on Saturday rather than today.”

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