Neil Lennon 'enjoyed every minute' of controversial season

Celtic manager Neil Lennon insists he enjoyed every moment of an often turbulent first full season in charge and will relish any additional pressure as he aims to regain the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title.

Lennon had to face numerous high-profile off-field challenges that few managers have to deal with, including suspect packages and an alleged assault from a fan.

The football threw up difficulties, too, with two early European exits followed by narrow failures at the hands of Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final and the SPL.

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But Lennon finished the season a winner in the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell, and he is looking to build on the overall improvement in his much-changed team's performances.

"I have enjoyed it immensely," Lennon told the Celtic View. "I have enjoyed every minute of it.

"I have been very comfortable in the role, and never really felt under any amount of pressure - certainly not from inside the club anyway.

"Even if I had have done, I would still have enjoyed the pressure side of it.

"I didn't really panic at any stage this season, I just kept believing in the squad - and I still believe in them.

"I think there is a nucleus here of a very good team for the future and I want to be manager here and take that team forward." He added: "The question is: 'Can I, the backroom staff and the players handle the expectations as it's going to grow?' But that's the challenge which will lie in front of us.

"We want to make inroads into Europe as well because we feel we have players who are capable of performing well at European level, too."

Celtic had the title in their hands with four matches left following a 0-0 draw at Ibrox, but defeat at Inverness cost them the title despite their highest points total since the Martin O'Neill era.

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"We still look back with huge disappointment of not winning the league," Lennon said.

"I don't like saying we should have won it - the footballing gods conspired against us. I look back on that one as the one that got away. If we had come back from Ibrox with a win, which I felt we deserved, then the league was over.

"We have gone to Inverness and, for some reason, our back four, who had been superb for the majority of the season, picked a day to perform poorly and we got punished.

"The rest of the games were fantastic and the consistency the team showed was very good.

"We had seven Glasgow derbies and we came out on top in the majority of them. So they proved to me they could play at a high level."