NEIL LENNON is poised to take charge of his 63rd game since returning to Celtic a year ago.

The Irishman answered the SOS to replace Leicester City-bound Brendan Rodgers and kicked off his second spell as Hoops boss with a 2-1 success over Hearts at Tynecastle.

And Lennon is hoping to experience that winning feeling again when the champions take on Kilmarnock at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon.

The gaffer saw the team “over the line” – his own words – to win their eighth title in a row and led them to emphatic victories in the Scottish Cup against Hibs (2-0) and Aberdeen (3-0) before lifting the silverware in the 2-1 triumph over Hearts on May 25, a monumental date in the club’s history.

And he kept the phenomenal run going with the team’s 10th successive domestic honour in the 1-0 victory over Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side in the Betfred League Cup Final in December.

THAT CHAMPION FEELING…Neil Lennon proudly wears his Premiership-winning medal last season.

Approaching one year back in the Hoops dug-out, Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “I got told that the other day. How do I look? I’m hanging in there!

“Seriously, it has flown past. You are just going from game to game to game. You don’t have time to source it back and analyse things. We have another big game tomorrow against Kilmarnock and we have to prepare again.

“We were looking at Killie on the plane on the way home from Denmark.

“The players have been unbelievable for me. We’re in a strong position at the moment. They have won three trophies since I have come back, they have topped a Europa League group, had a great result in Denmark.

“We are going well in the league and have won the League Cup this season, so they’ve been fantastic.

“I cannot speak highly enough of them and that is why I will never criticise them because their effort and mentality is out of this world.”

THE CUP THAT CHEERS…Neil Lennon holds the newly-won League Cup.

Football being what it is, there still have been critics, of course, but the manager responds logically: “You are never going to win everyone over. You just do the job the best you can and do it as conscientiously as you can.”

Asked how the job has changed, Lennon answered: “I’m working with different players, it’s a different time, it’s different cultures and how you manage them.

“There are different coaches and coaching methods, as well. I’ve had to adapt rather than them having to adapt to me.

“I’ve not really found it tough. I’ve got great backroom staff who work ever so hard. They should get as much credit as I do.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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