NEIL LENNON will ask questions of his Celtic players as they embark upon their determined challenge to claim a historic tenth successive title.
The champions will kick off their record-breaking bid with the Premiership opener against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon when the ninth consecutive flag is unfurled in the east end of Glasgow.
Alas, due to the lockdown imposed in the ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the annual rapturous applause from a sell-out crowd will be replaced by mild handclaps from the few in attendance.
But the Hoops manager will remain totally focused on the months ahead, as CQN reported yesterday.
Ten is on the radar, but the Irishman’s ambitions for the club go beyond what he has already termed a “monumental” campaign.
Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “The players have been magnificent over the last six or seven seasons in terms of consistency in winning trophies and I’ll look them in the eye tomorrow and see if they want more of that. I’m sure they will.
“It’s not just about this season, it’s about seasons after that in terms of developing young players and integrating them into the squad and bringing in new players allied to the core that we’ve got already.
“So, this season we are again looking to achieve the Champions League group stage. Trying to get through the qualifiers will be again immensely difficult, but it’s not beyond us.
“Then we will be defending all the trophies as best we can. Everything doesn’t just stop at the end of this season if we achieve ten.
“The club will go on and there are players here we want to bring through. Some of the younger players around it and new players we have brought in. Hopefully we will add one or two more, as well.
“The main focus – as with any season – is to try and win the title, but it doesn’t stop after this season. We look to go on again while trying very much to stay in the present.”
Parkhead will be a ghost ground as the league gets underway, but the Hoops gaffer is delighted at the prospect of fans returning in the middle of September after news of a loosening of guidelines by the Scottish government.
Lennon added: “It would be brilliant. We played a couple of games in France and in Paris we had around about 5,000 supporters in and that was a nice bonus, to play against a quality side, but to also have a sense of atmosphere.
“We’re very at the forefront of it and if the trial goes well we can progress it further because football and fans go hand in glove. The players want that as much as anybody else.
“The most important people in football are the fans and the players and it’d be great to have them back in tandem again.”