Neil Lennon: Celtic manager felt like he "could fly" after beating Hearts

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'I felt like I could fly' - Lennon lifted by Celtic's late winner

Neil Lennon felt like he "could fly" after Odsonne Edouard's stoppage-time winner at Hearts gave him a victory on his return as Celtic manager.

Lennon, 47, was in charge at Tynecastle after being appointed to replace Brendan Rodgers, who departed for Leicester City on Tuesday.

Celtic were being held by 10-man Hearts before Edouard scored to maintain their eight-point Scottish Premiership lead.

"It was a great feeling, great moment and a nice way to win," Lennon said.

"It was joy, relief. I was so nervous before the game because it means a lot. I'm stepping into one of the best-ever's shoes."

Lennon described James Forrest's opener after a swift counter-attack as "breathtaking", but despite having Jamie Brandon sent off for an elbow on Jeremy Toljan, Hearts levelled through Oliver Bozanic's penalty.

The Australian converted after Scott Bain's slack pass led to Kristoffer Ajer fouling Arnaud Djoum.

"We made it a lot more uncomfortable than it should have been. It was a sloppy goal to give away," Lennon told BBC Scotland.

"We shouldn't have given the ball away, all it does is give Hearts encouragement and something to hold on to."

Little over 24 hours had passed since Rodgers' exit for Leicester City by the time the match kicked off, and Lennon conceded it had been "difficult" for the players.

"I've had it in my own career as well when you lose a manager who's had a huge influence on you and been a mentor to you as well," the Northern Irishman added.

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