Scottish Cup final: Celtic deserve more credit, says Neil Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon hopes Celtic will get more credit after they completed the double by

The Bhoys manager believes the financial demise of rivals Rangers has overshadowed his side's achievements.

"People have nipped away at what we've done over the years, the tainted titles, no competition," he said.

"And they've missed what's really on the pitch. We've got a really special young team here."

Celtic eased to their 36th Scottish Cup final triumph thanks to two first-half goals from Gary Hooper and a late third from Joe Ledley.

"They should get the respect they deserve now because they've been fantastic," Lennon told BBC Scotland.

"They've been at the sharp end all season - this is their 59th game - and they looked as fresh as daisies."

Lennon has yet to settle his own future with major shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell but hopes to remain in charge next season.

"Mr Desmond's here, Peter's here, maybe we'll have a wee chat later," he said.

"It's always the same this time of the season. I just wanted to get through today and we've done that.

"You never tire of days like this. To win the double as a manager and as a player is pretty special.

"It's going to be hard to emulate that next season."

Lennon admitted that, despite his side going into the game as strong favourites, the prospect of matching the achievement of his former manager at Celtic, Martin O'Neill, had added to the tension.

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Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"I feel great now," he said. "I felt awful all day. I was really nervous, the stomach churning, butterflies, all that sort of thing.

"Just the weight of expectancy and history really and I knew how much it meant to Hibs to win the Cup today.

"I really wanted to get over the line with this one. That's four trophies in three years.

"Martin did that, so I'm happy with that. To emulate what he did in his first three years is pretty special to me."

Lennon described the performances of Hooper, strike partner Anthony Stokes, who set up both of Hooper's goals, and captain Scott Brown as "immense".

And of his team's display, he said: "I'm really proud. They were quality."

The Celtic manager had a few words of consolation for Hibs, whose best chance came early on through Eoin Doyle as the Edinburgh side sought to end an 111-year wait to win the Scottish Cup.

"Doyle had a great header saved in the first three minutes," added Lennon, stressing that the result had not been a foregone conclusion.

"You've got to give credit to the Hibs supporters. They got behind their team all day and, even at 3-0, they were fantastic."

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