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The Parkhead captain believes that the SPL champions can only progress to the next level if they are able to retain the services of their manager and star striker

Celtic skipper Scott Brown has urged the club’s board to make sure manager Neil Lennon and striker Gary Hooper remain at the club next season.

The English forward scored a double during the Parkhead side’s 3-0 Scottish Cup final victory over Hibernian at Hampden Park, which sees them add the trophy to their Scottish Premier League title this term.

Now the 27-year-old believes that for the club to progress, they must keep their 31-goal hitman and double-winning manager following reported interest in both from English sides.

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"People might leave, people might come in, but the main thing I’m sure is that hopefully we keep the gaffer and Hoops as well, that’s priority I think," he told reporters.

"With the goals he scores and the way he plays, he showed how good a striker he really is."

Lennon has been linked with the vacant position at Goodison Park following David Moyes departing for Manchester United, and Brown wants the Celtic hierarchy to do their best to keep the former Hoops skipper.

"Somebody’s eventually going to take a chance and that’s up to the club to try and keep him, all the players want him here next season, next season’s going to be huge for us," he continued.

"We’ve done well this season, but we need to try and kick on, we’ve got three qualifiers for the Champions League and that’s where we want to be.

"The reason for everyone coming to the squad is due to the gaffer, he brought in some young players, he’s not had the best budget.

"It shows you what he can do with a tight budget, bringing in people like Victor [Wanyama], Efe [Ambrose], Kris Commons, they’ve played week in, week out for us."

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