Cup ‘just the start’ for Hoops as Lennon set to extend stay

DANIEL MAJSTOROVIC believes Celtic’s Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell at Hampden on Saturday will be the forerunner to even more success next season.

Ki Sung-yueng opened the scoring in the first half with a wonderful drive but the destination of the trophy was only confirmed in the 76th minute when Wilson’s shot was deflected in off Well skipper Stephen Craigan, with Charlie Mulgrew’s late free-kick putting the icing on the cake.

Neil Lennon’s men ended their campaign on a high to go some way towards making up for losing the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title race to Rangers last week and the Co-operative Insurance Cup final to their Old Firm rivals earlier in the season.

The Sweden international claims there is more to come from the Celtic squad after ending the season with a trophy.

“The cup win was very important and this will give us a boost for the future,” said Majstorovic.

“We will start off on a totally different level next season.

“Now we will have a pre-season together and I think this will make a difference for next season.

“We work hard as a unit and you can feel the team spirit and this is just the start of what you will see from Celtic in the future.

“We were all disappointed last week, of course, we all worked hard all season to win the league.

“That was our main target but the fans gave us a boost after the last SPL game and we wanted to give them something back and we did so it was a great finish to the season.”

Lennon is set to be offered a new deal by the Parkhead board to replace his current six-month rolling contract.

Majstorovic insists that is the least the former Celtic skipper deserves after a traumatic first season as manager which has saw him subject to death threats and an attack by a fan at Tynecastle.

The Hoops defender said: “The gaffer is really amazing. What he and his family have suffered all season is just madness. He is a strong character, a strong person and he really deserved to win the cup and he is the right man for the job in the future.”

Lennon was delighted to pick up his first trophy as manager. He said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a weight off my shoulder but it’s nice to have it on my CV.

“Winning the Scottish Cup isn’t enough in terms of what I would have wanted from the season. But it’s important and important to me personally.

“We were a dominant team under Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan and sometimes you take that for granted. When you don’t have it, you realise what you have when it’s not there.

“It’s a nice way to end the season. Hopefully we will learn from where we went wrong this season and try to eradicate that. I’d like to bring a few more quality players in to top up the squad.”

Lennon — who has been operating on a six-month rolling contract — looks set to have more to celebrate in the weeks ahead after the club’s majority shareholder Dermot Desmond said he wants the Hoops boss to remain at Celtic “for a very long time”.

Responding to those comments, Lennon said: “I’m pleased. It’s great to hear, although he’s not said that to me yet.”

MOTHERWELL: Randolph, Hateley, Craigan, Hutchinson, Hammell (Jeffers 72), Gunning, Humphrey, Lasley, Jennings, Murphy (Jones 80), Sutton.

CELTIC: Forster, Wilson, Loovens, Majstorovic, Izaguirre, Brown, Ki, Mulgrew, Commons (Forrest 81), Samaras (Stokes 68), Hooper (McCourt 89).

Referee: Calum Murray (Scotland).

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