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  • Neil Lennon: Managing Celtic means everything to me

    Neil Lennon: Managing Celtic means everything to me

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 26 May, 2019 09:31

  • HAVING guided Celtic to Scottish Cup glory, and the Treble Treble, Neil Lennon was then offered the manager’s job on a permanent basis. And while the details have still to be worked out over the next few days, the Irishman is delighted at getting another opportunity to manage the club he’s always supported, and one that he’s served so well in the past as player and manager.

    “It means everything,” he said. “It’s a privilege. It was a privilege the first time. Nine years ago I was younger and a bit more robust, if you want to call it that. Now, I’ve come full circle.

    “Four years ago, I left the club on good terms and I always had as an objective to one day perhaps come back and manage here again. So this moment has arrived, but it’s been hard work.

    “I had a difficult time at Bolton, for reasons not within football, and then I had a great couple of years at Hibs, and I owe them a debt of gratitude for giving me the platform to get back in this position again.

    “I had four years working under Dermot and Peter, and the board – four great years – it was great learning and great experiences, and when the time came, we sat down and shook hands, and left on very cordial terms. I’ve always kept in contact with Peter over the years and he’s always kept an eye on my career, and he has been a great support for me, particularly through these past couple of months. There’s talks to go through but I don’t think it will take much to get it done.”

    Having done a great job as interim manager since he came in at the end of February following Brendan Rodgers’ departure, Neil Lennon is now looking forward to the challenges ahead. And he believes the experience he’s gained elsewhere over the past few years will stand him in good stead.

    “I’m a bit more rounded, and I’ve had highs and lows, which is good,” he said. “I’m more experienced, with a bit more nous about the game. I’m maybe not as aggressive as I once was, but I’m still very competitive and I still want to win.

    “I’ve had learn on the job here, about myself, and it was a different piece of management this time, because it didn’t feel like it was mine, so I had to cajole and coax it and get it over the line as best I could.

    “There’s a good core here, with lots of the players on long-term contracts, but there will be personnel leaving and personnel coming in. There’s a process in work where we’ve already identified some players, so hopefully we can get some freshness and quality in the squad as soon as possible.”

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