Celtic stars hope Cup win is first of many honours

By Andy BurkeBBC Sport at Hampden
Celtic players celebrate winning the Scottish Cup
The rain could not dampen Celtic's celebrations at Hampden

The taste of success can be intoxicating, and now that Celtic's players have experienced the joy of winning silverware, they are craving more.

A season that at one stage looked like it could deliver all three domestic trophies to the Parkhead trophy room has instead ended with a solitary success.

And yet the mood amongst Neil Lennon's charges after the Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell was not one of "if only", but rather a desire to add more honours next season.

Defender Daniel Majstorovic has tasted Swiss Cup success with Basle and thinks making the breakthrough by winning their first competition together will prove to be a watershed moment for this Celtic side.

"I think it's very, very important", the Swede said. "This trophy will give us a massive kick for the future and I think we will start off on a different level next season now.

"It's always our target to win the title, we need to make sure we are first. You will see a totally different team next season."

As much as the Cup win was about the here and now, it was also about laying a marker for the new campaign.

Having fallen short in the Scottish Premier League and the Co-operative Insurance Cup final this season, failing for a third time would have made it a long old summer for the club and its supporters.

Questions would also have been raised about the team's mental strength to get over the line when the big prizes are up for grabs.

As it is, their 3-0 defeat of Stuart McCall's men gives them a foundation to build on for next season.

Gary Hooper believes Celtic will strengthen for next season's league assault.

"Maybe the gaffer will get in a couple more players to make us stronger," he said.

"I think having won one trophy this season, we have to go for it next season and we will be stronger."

Hooper has been a revelation this season, scoring 20 league goals despite missing 16 games through injury. But it may be that Lennon's signing of the season is a man who has only been with the club since January.

Coming to Parkhead for a paltry £300,000, Kris Commons has slotted into the team seamlessly and contributed wonderful displays littered with goals from midfield.

He too cannot wait for the new season after the Scottish cup success.

"Winning this today certainly puts us in good stead for next year and I just can't wait to get back in the swing of things," said the former Derby winger.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Lennon celebrates Celtic's opening goal against Motherwell

"It's important we try to build on that and we'll be trying to win the league next season. So will Rangers, but if we can get a good squad together, we'll be strong next year."

Commons also gave a glowing tribute to Lennon, and already feels he is a major influence in his career.

"As soon as I've came in he's sung my praises, he's given me huge confidence. He's a fantastic talker, before and after matches he tells you what he thinks and it's all constructive," he said.

"He's a massive influence on my career, which I thought was perhaps dwindling away in the Championship. He's reinvented me and put his faith in me.

"For what he's been through off the field, it's nice to repay all his hard work. For his first full season, to give him some silverware, it's a credit to the squad."

Of course, there will be a renewed challenge from across the city next season.

With a new owner and a new manager in place, champions Rangers should be stronger and will be out to make it four league titles in a row.

What does captain Scott Brown think about that?

"We're just about us. We're not bothered about that in the slightest," he said.

And why should he be? He has won a piece of silverware, and all he's concerned about is getting his hands on some more.