Lennon: Celtic title win my 'best day'
Celtic manager Neil Lennon spoke of the "best day'' of his career after leading the Hoops to their 43rd league championship courtesy of a 6-0 win at Kilmarnock.
Lennon: This is the pinnacle of my career
Lennon, who took over at Parkhead two years ago, went into kick-off knowing his side needed just a point to secure the title.
It proved to be a lot easier than he could have hoped, with a first-half brace from Charlie Mulgrew, along with goals from Glenn Loovens and Gary Hooper, meaning the trophy was in the bag by half-time.
Second-half goals from Joe Ledley and Hooper only added to the euphoria inside Rugby Park which, thanks to the thousands of visiting fans, had become an outpost of Celtic's home ground.
"It's the best day of my professional life,'' Lennon told ESPN. "It's been a long time coming. It's been two years in the waiting. I'm so proud of them. They deserve it. We have been the best team in Scotland by a long way and we have finished it in the right way.''
Lennon soaked up the adulation from three sides of the ground as the celebrations continued, with the success even sweeter for the 40-year-old who has, at times, been a hate figure for fans of rival clubs.
''I've been here 12 years and they've thrown everything at me,'' Lennon said of his turbulent ride. ''I'm at the pinnacle now. I couldn't have done it without the club, the players, fans and my family.
''I follow in the footsteps of (former managers) Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan, who had a great influence on my career.''
Celtic's players donned t-shirts which read: 'This is just the beginning' as they walked a lap of honour, and captain Scott Brown said: ''I've waited a long time for this and it's for the fans. 'We're a strong bunch of lads and we just want to kick on now. We are as good as anyone.''
Mulgrew, who also scored a crucial goal in Celtic's 3-3 comeback draw at Kilmarnock in November - a result widely credited with being a turning point in their season - was happy for his manager.
''I'm delighted, this is a dream come true,'' he said. ''Neil has done brilliantly. Look at the players he has brought in. I can't thank him enough. 'We were 15 points behind Rangers at one point, so to come back is credit to the manager.''