Celtic captain wants Lennon to stay at Parkhead

Captain Scott Brown says the Celtic players are all desperate for manager Neil Lennon to stay at the Glasgow giants following speculation linking him to the vacant position at Everton.

The Hoops boss has been installed as one of the favourites to succeed David Moyes in the Goodison hotseat following his switch to Manchester United to take over from the retiring Alex Ferguson.

Lennon, who has led the Parkhead club to two successive Scottish Premier League titles since taking over in 2010, moved to cool links with Everton before Saturday's4-0 win over St Johnstone.

And Brown, who returned from a three month injury lay-off to collect the Scottish Premier League trophy following the rout, says the players hoped Lennon would remain at Celtic Park.

"Of course we want him to stay. He's been huge in my career," the midfielder said.

"He's been great with me, especially today when he put me right back into the starting line-up which meant a lot to me.

"It's a huge club as well. The gaffer loves the club and he enjoys coming in day in, day out and it shows in his enthusiasm at the side of the pitch."

It was Brown's first match since an operation in February and he had a hand in the first goal when Joe Ledley fired Celtic ahead after only a minute played.

Charlie Mulgrew added a second before the break with James Forrest and a Frazer Wright own goal sealing the win.

Brown said he savoured the win and was delighted to return to pick up his third SPL trophy.

"It was a great occasion. For me to get a game today meant a lot as well," Brown said.

"The gaffer gave me 60 minutes and I feel good for it.

"I've been working hard recently and my body seems to be enjoying it.

"I've been doing a lot of running and I felt the difference today, that's for sure.

"It's always special to pick up the league trophy, especially at home in front of all these fans.

"It was an outstanding game and for us to play so well means even more."

After the match manager Lennon was fulsome in his praise of his returning captain, who could now lead the team out at Hampden for the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian in a fortnight's time.

"He was amazing really as he was very rusty in training this week but he looked very fresh and his touch was good," manager Lennon said of Brown.

"Scott being Scott he was full of running and drive and you could see Forrest, Hooper, Stokes and Ledley all feeding off that.

"He looked great. Scott's a real dynamic athletic and has great cardiovascular capacity and that's a major component of his game.

"But his tactical play has got a lot better in the last two or three years and you saw all that today.

"And not only that but his strength of personality and what he brings to the team you miss a lot."

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