NEIL Lennon completed a Celtic treble last night when he was named the Scottish Football Writers' Association (SFWA) manager of the year, with Charlie Mulgrew winning player of the year and James Forrest young player of the year.

The Parkhead manager spoke of his delight about joining prev-ious winners Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan and said he planned to do even better next year.

"It's a privilege to win the award from the football writers," Lennon said. "It means a lot to me. I'm delighted and also delighted for Charlie and James to win the other awards. We've done what we set out to do.

"But I'm always looking for improvement from myself and my backroom staff. You're always being tested and always being asked questions. The next question is 'can we qualify for the Champions League?' It's a huge test and challenge but one we're looking forward to taking on."

With the club all set to be pitched into a third round qualifying tie as early as late July/early August, Lennon's focus is already shifting towards the minor adjustments he feels his team need if they are to retain their SPL crown and qualify for the Champions League group stages.

The Parkhead side are still in the market for a tall, physically imposing striker – they have already been linked with Charlton's Yann Kermorgant and Jay Rodriguez of Burnley – but Lennon admitted he might have to sell a player or two in order to fund any purchases. Some are more expendable than others, however, and the Northern Irishman said he was keen to keep Gary Hooper at the club.

"What we have is a resale value in the squad that we didn't have before," Lennon said. "The players we brought in for decent money, we can sell them for a lot more money. There are plenty of assets in the squad and if and when we need to use them then we can. We are trying to build a team here rather than break it up but as every season goes along if you are looking to add one or two then you have to sell as well.

"So we might have to sell a player to bring extra revenue in and to control the debt here as well. I wouldn't want to lose Hooper – you don't want to lose your leading goalscorer; if needs must, but he would be well down the list of people I would want to sell."

While someone such as Ki Sung-Yeung is more likely to be a big-name departure this summer, Celtic appear set fair to be the dominant force in a reshaped Scottish footballing landscape for the next few seasons with Rangers in disarray. Lennon is well aware that brings its own pressures.

"Nothing is given to you in football," he said. "We'll probably go into next season as heavy favourites for the title and that in itself is a pressure you need to handle. We have some good young players but we're not getting carried away. I think we have the nucleus of a good team for the next three or four years. I can't guarantee we'll win the league every year but off the back of what I've seen in the past six months there are exciting times ahead."

Indeed, with talented young players such as Dylan McGeouch, Patrik Twardzik, Tony Watt and Rabiu Ibrahim all knocking on the door of the first team, there could be a temptation to blood a whole new young team next season but Lennon is reluctant to look too far ahead. "No, a week is a long time in football, never mind two or three seasons," he said. "At the minute, I am looking close season, pre-season. You would be taking it for granted if you were doing that and knowing what I have been through this season you are always walking on a tightrope."

The Champions League ties already loom large on the horizon for the club, a couple of results which will define the parameters for the entire season. Consequently Celtic will be circumspect this pre-season, unlike some of the excesses of previous campaigns. Although details have yet to be finalised, they are likely to tour Austria in pre-season, and possibly throw in a short money-spinning trip to America.

Their two ties in the so-called "Champions Path" may insulate them from some of the continent's biggest clubs but there are some less heralded dangers waiting for them.

"We have had our fingers burnt before ... Basel, Bratislava ... so we are wary of it obviously," the Celtic manager said. "One, you could be playing an unknown team. They could be in Kazakhstan, so scouting is going to be a problem straightaway. Second, you could be playing a team that are five to 10 games into their season who are really fit and match competitive and we are playing our first competitive game. That to me is a huge disadvantage for us."

Despite landing a six-match ban from the SFA (three suspended until the end of next season), Lennon clearly feels more comfortable in the role of Celtic manager.

"I think that comes with experience and obviously getting over the line in the championship," he said. "My troubles this year have all come in a short space of time. Up until the first six, seven months of the season, I sailed through the season without any sort of controversy. At one stage, we were 15 points behind but I wasn't blaming referees or this, that or the other, or calling people out. It just seems to come in threes doesn't it?"