Celtic manager Neil Lennon hails 'important' Cup win

Neil Lennon
Lennon claimed his first silverware as Celtic manager by winning the Scottish Cup

Celtic manager Neil Lennon insists it was important for his players to end the season with a Scottish Cup triumph.

The Glasgow side comfortably overcame Motherwell 3-0 at Hampden to claim the oldest trophy in world football for the 35th time.

"We've had a great season and fell short in the championship, but this is a fitting end," said Lennon

"I'm delighted for everyone associated with the club. It's an important day. The performance today merited it."

A sensational 32nd minute strike from Ki Sung-Yeung was enhanced by Mark Wilson's deflected shot and an inch-perfect Charlie Mulgrew free-kick five minutes from full-time to hand Lennon his first silverware in charge of Celtic.

The Northern Irishman was proud to claim a trophy in his debut season, despite the disappointment of narrowly losing out on the league championship to Rangers last week.

"It's the first trophy for a few years and the players deserve it - so do the supporters," said Lennon.

"Motherwell did very well and made a great contribution to the final, but we were superb.

"We were a bit too clinical at times and tried to walk the ball into the net at times.

"You can't deny the quality in the squad, and it manifested itself again today."

A turbulent season for Lennon was rounded off with the news from the club's majority shareholder, Dermot Desmond, that a long-term contract would be forthcoming in the next few days.

"I hope so," said Lennon. "It's a great privilege and Mr Desmond has been very good to me in my time as manager so far.

"Even in my time as a player, he gave me great counsel throughout the season.

"For all Celtic supporters out there, he's a huge Celtic fan and he has the best interests of the club at heart.

"He was as disappointed as anyone with the way the season ended, so I hope he's enjoyed himself today."

Celtic's squad were also praised by Lennon and he pledged to bolster the playing staff and maintain a free-flowing style of play next season.

"We love the game, we try to entertain and we try to win with a bit of style," said Lennon.

"It doesn't always get you over the line - but if we keep playing and strengthening the squad in a few areas, we're not too far away from having a very good team.

"We'll sit down and look at some options and identify players - whether we get them or not is another thing.

"But the players we've brought in are great - they've all made a huge contribution to the season."