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Rangers 12:00 Celtic

Lennon named Bhoys boss

Fans' favourite lands Parkhead post permanently

Last Updated: 09/06/10 12:44pm

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Scottish giants Celtic have confirmed Neil Lennon as the club's permanent manager.

SKY BET ODDS Celtic are 4/1 to win the SPL and the Scottish Cup next season. Click here to bet.

"I'm not going to comment on any individuals other than to say this, no one with any authority from this club has spoken to or offered the job of manager to anyone."
Celtic chairman John Reid Quotes of the week

Lennon finished the end of last season at the helm after taking charge on a caretaker basis following Tony Mowbray's sacking in March.

The fans' favourite had a 100 per cent SPL record during his short stint, however, his record was tarnished by a surprise Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Ross County.

However, following an extensive search Celtic have opted to give the ex-Northern Ireland international the chance to make his name in football management at Parkhead.

Celtic chairman John Reid proudly unveiled Lennon at a press conference on Wednesday while categorically denying they had spoken with anyone else about the position after Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni was linked with the post.

Reid also took the opportunity to thank the club's fans for their patience throughout the period prior to Lennon being named on a permanent basis.

Although Lennon's lack of experience has been called into question Reid is of no doubt that the 38-year-old will be able to bring the SPL giants success following a barren campaign of silverware.


"I just want to confirm today officially that Neil Lennon has been invited and accepted the post as manager as Celtic," Reid told Sky Sports News.

"I just want to thank a couple of people. First of all the Celtic supporters, as well as my fellow directors and Neil himself, for the patience and understanding they have shown throughout the last few weeks.

"I do that because we have taken some time in order to confirm Neil as manager. That should be a source of strength to everybody, not a source in anyway of doubt.

"This is a great club and it faces great challenges. The truth is that we are appointing Neil after the most careful thought, deliberation and scrutiny.

"If this had been a matter just about our heart then Neil would have been appointed within an hour of the vacancy arising, because in our heart we really wanted Neil Lennon to be our manager. I don't need to rehearse why. He's been a great player. He's been a great captain. He's been a great coach and he's been a great part of Celtic for so many years.

"But because it's such a big challenge we wanted to make sure that we did it with more than our heart. We therefore asked Neil to undertake the end of the season games in a situation which was pretty challenging. He faced up to that challenge and faced up to the opportunity. He did his talking on the park.

"Even then we went through a process of scrutiny. We considered, we debated and we maintained our dialogue with Neil throughout that. He knew what we were doing. On every occasion our head brought us back to where our heart had started.

"Therefore we have spoken to no one nor offered anyone this job through the course of that. We have kept Neil Lennon and we came back with our head to where our heart started in the first place. I'm absolutely delighted for that.

"I'm not going to comment on any individuals other than to say this, no one with any authority from this club has spoken to or offered the job of manager to anyone. Indeed no one has been spoken to about that job apart from Neil Lennon. I can give you that assurance."


Lennon has confirmed he has been appointed on a year's contract, just like previous Bhoys managers, with the option to extend the deal depending on the club's success on the pitch.

The midfielder, who made over 200 appearances for the club, has revealed everything was concluded late at night and he was simply delighted to be taking charge permanently following a successful career as a player.

Lennon admits the only thing he does not bring to the table is experience, however, he is open to the possibility of bringing in experienced coaching staff to help him learn the ropes early on.

"It's a wonderful moment for me. It's a wonderful moment in my life," explained Lennon.

"Things were concluded pretty late on the other night. I've walked down that tunnel many, many times when I came walking out on my own at twenty to one I've never seen Celtic Park like it. It was a beautiful night. The only light was from the moon and it was a special moment to know I was in charge of the football club. Very, very special moment for me personally.

"I'm ready and I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's a year's contract. It's open to renegotiation depending on how things go.

"Finally when I was told I was getting the job I was relieved, but overall delighted. It would be churlish to suggest I could do this job on my own. The backroom staff that I have in mind probably lack that experience to.

"I think I'm going into the unknown a wee bit. But in terms of what I know about the club, I don't think anyone else. It's just other aspects of the game that I need to work on.

"I think it's a priority to challenge for the title. I think it is every season. We know last season wasn't good enough, but the players showed me they do have it in them.

"In the last eight or nine games they showed a level of consistency that they maybe hadn't shown previously. I know I've got to hit the ground running.

"I want this place rocking again. I want the passion. I want the noise. I want the fans to be able to walk to the ground wanting the players ready to go to war every time they go on the pitch. Winning football games is the hardest thing to do."

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