NEIL Lennon last night admitted he was honoured to become only the second man ever after Celtic legend Billy McNeill to win all three domestic trophies in Scotland as a player and a manager with the same club.

Both Davie Hay and Alex McLeish won the League Cup, Scottish title and Scottish Cup in both guises – but the former did it with Celtic and Livingston and the latter achieved the feat with Aberdeen and Rangers.

Lennon had lost two League Cup finals as Celtic manager previously – to Rangers in 2011 and to Kilmarnock in 2012 during his first spell in charge at Parkhead – and confessed the hard-fought 1-0 triumph at Hampden yesterday was sweet.

“I didn’t want to talk about that before the game but it means the world to me,” he said. “The League Cup has been something of a monkey on my back. It owed me one. It’s just nice to tick that box as a manager.

“Obviously you want to do it in spectacular fashion at times, but that’s not always possible. When we won here against Kilmarnock we should have had it home and hosed and we lost that one. So I feel I was due one. But we now march on and look forward to things.”

Lennon also paid a glowing tribute to Scott Brown and his team mates after Celtic won their 10th consecutive trophy.

“I don’t know what you would compare it with, other clubs around the world or other teams in Scottish football,” he said. “I’ve not really looked into that but it’s incredible. It’s easy to give it up, to think ‘oh it’s not our day today and that’s the end of it’ but they just won’t. It’s amazing. They are an incredible group of players.

“That’s 31 cup ties undefeated, 31 over a period of three and a bit years. That’s amazing. We had a stiff challenge today but we’ve had that before from Aberdeen and another against Hearts. These boys keep finding ways to win. It’s fantastic footballing ability and fantastic athleticism but also fantastic mental strength.”

Meanwhile, Lennon has claimed Celtic deserved a break from referee Willie Collum at Christopher Jullien’s second-half goal.

Told that his opposite number Steven Gerrard had claimed three Celtic players were offside when Ryan Christie played a free-kick into the Rangers penalty box, he said: “How many?

“I’ve not seen it back yet but that may have been the rub of the green we got from the referee - the first one all day. It was maybe the first decision that went our way.”

Lennon, whose team play Cluj in their final Europa League group game in Romania on Thursday night, singled out Fraser Forster for special praise. “I’ve not seen a goalkeeping performance or goalkeeper like him for a long time,” he said. “He made saves that other goalkeepers can’t make.”