Celtic captain Scott Brown admits he was surprised by Neil Lennon's decision to stand down as Bhoys manager and believes the Northern Irishman will be a tough act to follow at Celtic Park.

Lennon resigned last week after four successful years at the club that included winning three Premiership titles and two Scottish Cups.

He also guided the club to the last 16 of the Champions League after a memorable 2-1 victory against Barcelona in November 2012.

"I was surprised to hear the news - he's been fantastic at the club, he helped us a lot and he's made me the player I am today. We wish him all the best," Brown said.

"It's been great since he came in, even when he was caretaker he brought positivity into the side - he wanted to attack and play good football and he continued that throughout his Celtic career."

Brown added: "We sat down and talked about football a lot so I learned a lot under his leadership.

"He can have a huge future, he's a great manager and there will be a club out there lucky enough to take him."

Owen Coyle, Malky Mackay and Henrik Larsson have all been linked with taking over the Scottish champions with Coyle installed as the bookies' favourite.

Brown would not be drawn on who he would like to be given the job but believes Lennon's are big boots to fill.

"He's a great manager and he's always going to be a hard act to follow but I've got faith in whoever comes in and whoever the board picks," Brown said.

"We've got to look forward to the Champions League qualifiers and no matter who comes in we've got to go again, we've got to win the league, we've got to try to and get into the Champions League as well.

"It's a good job for whoever comes in and we're just sad to see Neil go."