He has been assaulted, sent bullets, bombs and had vile abuse hurled at him from every corner of Scotland. Despite rumours that he would walk away from Celtic, Neil Lennon has reiterated his desire to stay at Celtic Park next season in a passionate speech after Celtic’s 4-0 win over Motherwell.
Lennon was clearly moved by the atmosphere within Celtic Park, after 18 minutes Celtic fans rose as one to salute their manager. And a mass 50,000 huddle engulfed Celtic Park in defiance of Rangers title victory, with chants of ‘We are Celtic Supporters Faithful through and through’ ringing round the stadium as the Celtic players took to the field to salute the fans.
Lennon declared: “For me, this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning.”
And he thanked the fans for their support throughout the season.
“It’s been a great source of comfort and inspiration, not just to me but to my backroom staff, the board, and certainly the players,” he said. “This is why we love this club. You could see today what the supporters bring. They’ve been magnificent all season.”
“The reason I took this job on was to win silverware. It’s a disappointing day today – we’ve got one more piece of silverware to win and the players will be giving everything to bring back something for their efforts this season.
“We as a club this season have nothing to reproach ourselves for – the board, the supporters, the players – they’ve dealt with a lot of issues with great dignity.
“The players have played with great panache and style, and tried to entertain all season. But other people in the game here have to have a good look at themselves in the mirror.”
Neil Lennon still has the Scottish Cup to fight for, despite the disappointment of losing the League and the League Cup to Rangers under Walter Smith.