PAUL Lambert has given his emphatic backing to Celtic’s decision to make Neil Lennon their full-time manager and predicted the Parkhead club will remain the dominant force in Scottish football next season with the Northern Irishman in charge, writes Matthew Lindsay.

Lennon’s appointment on Friday has not been well received by a section of the treble treble winners’ support who wanted to see another high-profile coach brought in to replace Brendan Rodgers permanently.

The Glasgow outfit were linked with, among others, Rafael Benitez, Slaven Bilic, Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas during the final weeks of the 2018/19 campaign.

Lennon, who took over from Rodgers on an interim basis back in February when his countryman suddenly departed for Premier League club Leicester City in England, helped Celtic win the Ladbrokes Premiership and the William Hill Scottish Cup.

But the 47-year-old, who won three Scottish titles and two Scottish Cups and qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League during his first spell in the dugout between 2010 and 2014, will still have to win round the doubters in the forthcoming campaign.

Lambert, who played alongside Lennon in the Celtic midfield towards the end of his playing career and was in the Martin O’Neill side that competed in the 2003 UEFA Cup final in Seville with him, believes he is the best man to lead his old club.

The Scotland internationalist is currently in charge at Ipswich Town and has previously spent spells with Norwich City, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Wolves and Stoke City and he is confident his old team mate will justify the decision to give him the job.

“I think it is great,” he said. “I think he has done really well since taking over. To win the two trophies that he did was an excellent achievement. Now that he has been appointed full-time he can really get into the job, get his feet well and truly under the table.

“He knows the club from before having been both a player and a manager and he appreciates exactly what is required. He is a good guy as well Lenny. Hopefully they can go on and have more success under him.”

Rangers won two of the four Glasgow derby matches they played this season and finished second in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the first time since they returned to the top flight.”

Steven Gerrard, the Ibrox manager, is in the process of strengthening his squad so they can end their city rivals’ run of eight consecutive Scottish titles and has already brought in Jake Hastie of Motherwell and Jordan Jones of Kilmarnock.

Greg Stewart, the Birmingham City forward who spent the second half of last season at Aberdeen, and other new recruits look poised to join them in Govan.

Lambert, though, is convinced Celtic will win the Scottish title once again with Lennon in charge. “They will still be a strong side, without a doubt,” he said. “They will still be the team to beat next season. Rangers will try and bridge the gap. But it is good that Lenny has got the job.”