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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Lennon: Failure not an option

Neil Lennon admits he could lose his job if Celtic fail to win the league this season.

Lennon's first full campaign in charge of the club saw him secure the Scottish Cup but lose out in the SPL title race to Old Firm rivals Rangers by one point.

Celtic also lost the Co-operative Insurance Cup final to the Light Blues, but Lennon was rewarded by the board earlier this week for the progress he made with a new 12-month rolling contract.

However, the former Hoops skipper knows that allowing Rangers to make it four in a row could signal the end of his time in the east end of Glasgow.

"Three years without the title is a long time for us," he said. "I think it is imperative that we do win it. From my own point of view, if you go two years as an Old Firm manager without a title, it might be very difficult to keep your job, but it will depend on what the season brings.

"We want to make inroads in Europe this season as well. We feel as if we have good natural talent and a good young team, and with a bit more experience in there we feel we can have a go at that as well.

"I don't think [there will be more pressure]. The pressure of the job is always the same: win the league. If you can win a double or treble, brilliant, but to win the league is a must, really.

"I have had one go at it. The fans might get a bit fed up if we miss out on a second one. The expectation levels are going to be greater because of the progress that we made last year and that's a credit to the players.

"They have to accept that challenge and take it on as I have to do as a manager and my background staff do as well."

Lennon revealed that assistant Johan Mjallby and first-team coach Alan Thompson are still talking to the club about new deals.

"They are in talks at the minute and hopefully that will be resolved by the end of the week or early next week," he said. "It is important for continuity and it is important for me to have people that I brought in, people that I trust and people whose opinion I value, to carry on at the club next to me."

Lennon is also working hard to get his squad settled for next season. He is looking to give new deals to skipper Scott Brown and midfielder Beram Kayal and revealed he has made a bid for Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who was on loan at Parkhead last season.

"We will be in talks with both of them," Lennon said. "We met Beram's representatives three or four weeks ago and we will sit down and discuss a new deal with him probably when we come back from Australia.

"We might not have time to do that before we go away, and it will be the same with Scott. They both indicated that they want to go away which is good news from my point of view."

He added: "We have made a bid for Fraser Forster. Newcastle have said that he is not for sale at the moment but we will pursue that avenue further if we can.

"I said that we needed a goalkeeper and we would like to bring in a centre forward as well, so that's two and we might be able to add further to the squad after that, I don't know.

"But there won't be wholesale changes. We are really happy with the majority of the squad and we only need to bring in one or two."

Lennon has also added 19-year-old Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama, of Belgian side Germinal Beerschot, to his list of targets.

"He is a player who has come to my attention and he is a good young player," he said. "We have not pursued that matter any further other than as an option, but if the club can get the opportunity to speak to him then we welcome that."

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