Lennon - Title is top priority
Hoops boss puts domestic success before European progress
Last Updated: July 7, 2012 5:22pm
Neil Lennon: Hoping to get his hands on the SPL silverware once again in 2012/13
Neil Lennon claims defending the SPL title will be Celtic's priority next season, with UEFA Champions League football a welcome distraction.
With Rangers set to tumble out of the top-flight in 2012/13 as a result of their financial troubles, the Hoops have no Old Firm rivalry to contend with.
They are expected to canter to the title as a result, allowing them to focus on a European challenge.
Lennon, though, refuses to accept that continental competition will take centre stage, with domestic success important to any side.
Asked if his attention will now be more on Europe, where Celtic face two qualifying rounds before the lucrative Champions League group stages, the Hoops manager said: "I'm not too sure about that. We are the champions and the most important thing is to retain the championship.
"Europe is something that we would like to progress in and take this team forward, and the club as well.
"We're preparing as best we can from Monday. We go away on Sunday for a 10-day training camp and we'll be working very hard to get the players up to speed.
"These games come very, very quickly and are always fraught with danger. But Europe is a big carrot for us this year."
Meanwhile, Lennon is still contemplating who, if anyone, to bring in as a replacement for former first-team coach Alan Thompson.
"I'm debating that at the minute with the other guys at the club," he added.
"At the minute we'll go with what we have.
"We're always looking to improve. I've been away trying to improve myself over the summer.
"I went to France and watched all the games in the Euros, I've been speaking to other managers.
"Johan (Mjallby, assistant) has been away doing stuff. It's just natural progression and keeping everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.
"But I'm open, I've got a few people in mind or I might just go with what I've got."