THE task that awaits Neil Lennon when he starts his second stint as Celtic’s full-time manager in the coming days will be a daunting one due to the expectations the Parkhead club’s extended period of domestic dominance has created among their supporters.

Having completed trebles – an achievement they had only managed on three occasions in their history before 2017 – in the last three years anything less than another clean sweep of silverware will be viewed by many as a failure.

Is it any wonder that Lennon has questioned whether he really wants to take on the job on occasion since succeeding his countryman Brendan Rodgers on an interim basis back in February?

Yet, the Northern Irishman has never, either as a player or a coach, shied away from a challenge. The lure of returning to the Glasgow club he both played for and managed before has proved irresistible. He appreciates his new role will, particularly with Rangers providing a far more credible challenge, be demanding, but he is up for the fight.

Asked if he had ever had doubts about whether he should accept a potential offer following his side's win over Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, Lennon said: “Of course, yeah. There is a lot to think about. But when you get offered a job like this it’s really, really difficult to turn it down.

“You could say no. But I’m pretty steely about it and I know what I want to do. It’s been a privilege to manage them the first time and to do it for the second time is just unbelievable really, it’s great.

“I’ll take stock of things, obviously I have a lot to think about. I’m still quite emotional at the minute there is a lot to take in at the minute.”

However, the 47-year-old, who will embark on an extensive rebuilding process when he takes up the position, is confident there is an appreciation of what is achievable both at boardroom level as well as in the stands.

“The first (treble) season was just one of those incredible seasons so anything after that was going to be a regression anyway, but they’ve gone on to win another two trebles after that,” he said. “It was impossible to maintain that level of performance and level of result, that was an incredible standard and benchmark that probably won’t be repeated.”

Lennon, who left Celtic of his own volition five years ago after leading them to three Scottish titles, two Scottish Cups and the Champions League knockout rounds, certainly feels he is better placed to deal with the trials and tribulations of being the manager at Parkhead than at any stage in his career.

His time at Bolton was best by problems due to the financial difficulties the troubled English Championship club were experiencing, which have come to a head in recent months, and his stint with Hibernian, who he led back in to the top flight and into Europe, have presented different challenges. But he feels he has benefited greatly from his time at both clubs.

“At the time I left Celtic it felt for me like the right thing to do,” he said. “I left on my own terms and it was in my mind to maybe come back one day.

“I’ve had five years away and it’s been tough. There have been highs and lows, but I have learned a lot. So to be offered the opportunity again? I wasn’t going to give that up easy.

“You need the highs and you need the lows. It’s never plain sailing and big Sam (Allardyce) always said you’re not really a proper manager until you get the sack. So it’s been a really good learning curve. I’ve learned a lot in these two and a half months about myself more than anything else.

“It’s a great opportunity for me. Really tough coming in, but I think I’ve mellowed and I’m more rounded and don’t get too agitated by a world of false news, Twitter and social media. You just have to ignore all that and concentrate on what you do and keep your integrity. If you believe you are doing the right things you can’t get too upset.”

He certainly has no concerns about working with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and major shareholder Dermot Desmond going forward. His relationship with both men has endured and he was never troubled by the constant speculation about which high-profile foreign manager was being lined up to take over at the end of the season.

“It’s not hard,” he said. “I speak to Peter most days, I speak to Dermot once a week. They said: ‘Look we are not speaking to anybody’. There is a trust there, there has to be. People don’t know Dermot or Peter the way I do. If they say something to your face you take it as being 100 per cent true.”