Neil Lennon’s not leaving

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By Michael Baillie

CELTIC chairman John Reid last night reassured fans that manager Neil Lennon has no intention of walking away from the club and has backed him to win the treble.

Lennon has been given 24-hour protection following the discovery of a suspect package addressed to him.

The parcel, which looked as if it contained a nail bomb but was later discovered to be a hoax, was intercepted at a Royal Mail sorting office.

Following Lennon’s latest security scare, Celtic coach Alan Thompson hinted the manager could consider his future in the summer if the strain became too much. But at the ceremony prior to the Hoops’ 2-0 win over Hamilton to unveil a bronze statue in memory of Celtic’s greatest manager Jock Stein, the chairman insisted Lennon is only focused on bringing silverware back to Parkhead.

Reid said: “We have a great manager, who is doing a great job and we are going to concentrate over the next few months on making sure we bring the trophies back to Celtic Park.

Neil Lennon has no intention of walking away from Celtic says chairman John Reid

“That is my intention, that’s Neil’s intention, that’s the players’ intention and I’m sure it’s what the man behind us, Jock Stein, would want. To bring back success to this club and to do it by playing open, attractive football. That’s the philosophy we’re known for.”

Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby also believes Lennon is going nowhere and is in the job for the long-term.

After Celtic moved eight points clear of the top of the SPL as Kris Commons’ double saw off Hamilton, Mjallby said: “Neil is upbeat. After the Old Firm we just started to concentrate on this game, to keep our focus and the players focused

“He’s very good at that and is in a good state of mind, he’s fairly happy.

“But all the other stuff that going on is a unacceptable – I know he’s probably used to it but it shouldn’t happen.

“He hasn’t told me he’s had enough. He is a strong character and I think he is in this job for the long run now.

“He can certainly take the pressure and we’d be very surprised if that happened.

“He is very focused to try to improve this Celtic team and improve himself.”

Lennon sat in the stand as he served the first of his four-game ban but Hoops goal hero Commons admitted it makes no difference to him not to have his manager on the sidelines.

Commons also feels Lennon will stay, saying: “The impression he’s given us is he’s hungry, he wants to win medals, he wants to win titles – he has brought in a lot of players who are striving to do that.

“It didn’t make a great deal of difference to me. It’s always nice to see him on the touchline but I just concentrate on my job.”

Commons believes the pressure is on Rangers now, adding: “We’re hoping to force the issue.

“All we can do is keep winning and putting the pressure on.”

Hamilton boss Billy Reid admitted his players played a part in their own downfall as defender David Elebert gifted Commons his second goal.

Reid said: “I told the players to keep themselves in the game and the longer it stayed 1-0 then their fans would get frustrated, but we suicidally gave away a second goal, that was a disaster .”

 

This article is published with thanks to Sunday Express Scotland.