NEIL LENNON has revealed he has NOT talked to his players about the possibility of Celtic winning nine successive titles this season.
The Hoops are one campaign away from emulating the remarkable achievement of Jock Stein and his magnificent team that dominated the Scottish football scene from 1966 to 1974, winning all nine championships in a glorious period for the club that saw a landslide of honours cascading into the Parkhead trophy room.
Not content with ruling the roost on the home front, Billy McNeill and his fabulous team-mates also took the mantle of the first British club to conquer Europe when they defeated Inter Milan 2-1 on a wonderful and unforgettable evening in Lisbon in May 1967.
Lennon is now preparing his players for an assault on both targets with the return leg of their Champions League second round qualifier against Nomme Kalju due in Estonia on Tuesday and then then Premiership opener against St Johnstone in another Flag Day kick-off in the east end of Glasgow on Saturday.
GOOD CHRISTIE…comeback Bhoy Leigh Griffiths congratulates Ryan Christie after Celtic’s second goal against Kalju.
The Irishman safely steered the club through choppy waters towards the unprecedented treble treble following the rapid exit of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City in February. He dealt superbly well with an awesome task as he took over in an interim basis before landing the job on a permanent basis for the second time in the immediate aftermath of the 2-1 Scottish Cup success over Hearts on May 25, a special date in the club’s folklore.
He is well aware of what is expected this time around and he believes he has sorted out his priorities.
Lennon, speaking to the Sunday Mail, admitted: “You have to ignore the noise sometimes.
“I can’t control the uncontrollable. I’ve learned that as I’ve gone along. I used to get agitated by things that were outwith my control.
“But if you’re conscientious in your work and going about it the right way, you can’t ask for any more.
“I haven’t mentioned the nine-in-a-row aspect to the players.
“No, it’s just the next title. And the players know what’s at stake. Last season, we had all the talk of the treble treble.
“Every time we went into a game, it was always about the treble treble.
“It got wearing towards the end of the campaign for the players, as you can imagine.
“This will be no different. But we’ve just got to keep a perspective on things from here.
BUNCH OF FIVES…Callum McGregor makes it 5-0 with a fine left-foot drive.
“My first (Scottish Cup) game was Hibs and the chat was: ‘This could be it’. Then it was Aberdeen in the semi-final, Rangers in the league.
“’If he loses this game, Lennon could lose the job.’ I had all of that.
“It wasn’t just me, it was on the players. We were on the cusp of making history.
“So, in every press conference it was mentioned.
“But it can wear away at you. Thankfully, the players dealt with it brilliantly and it will be the same this season.
“The priority right now is to get into the Champions League to give us a foothold in the season.
“Then the priority will be the Premiership, which is the same every season at Celtic.”
The Hoops take a five-goal advantage to Estonia after the midweek romp where Ryan Christie (2), Kristoffer Ajer, Leigh Griffiths and Callum McGregor provided the safety net of a comfortable lead.
Providing Lennon and his men dodge a sensational banana skin, they will now turn their attention to the third qualifier where they will meet either Cluj or Maccabi Tel Aviv with the Romanians 1-0 ahead going into the second leg in Israel.