Lennon: Heat is on Robbie
Published 05/02/2010 | 05:00
CELTIC legend Neil Lennon believes that Robbie Keane is now under huge pressure to lift his new club in their attempt to overhaul Rangers' 10-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League.
The Northern Irishman, currently coach of the Bhoys' reserves, admitted he was initially surprised to learn that the Hoops' efforts to sign the Ireland captain were successful.
And Lennon now believes that the high-profile nature of Keane's deadline-day move from Spurs will only add to the pressure on the 29-year-old to lift the Glasgow outfit from their recent lull.
"He'll be under the intense spotlight from now until the end of the season," said Lennon.
"Every move he makes will be scrutinised. Every performance will be scrutinised. But I think Robbie is more than experienced enough to handle all that.
"He'll be huge (for the team). Not just in his play, but in his personality. If you see how long his career's been and he's only 29. He has huge experience, huge quality.
"I thought he played pretty well (in his debut against Kilmarnock). He was unlucky not to have got a couple of goals for us."
Lennon also defended Keane's decision to reject a number of English Premier League sides to join one of the clubs he followed as a youth.
"The move did (surprise me), I have to say. I think it's a decent step. Everyone will say going from the Premier League in England to the Premier League in Scotland is a step back, but he wasn't playing regular football," he continued.
"He'll (now) be playing regular football at a huge club and he'll be under intense pressure every week to perform. I think that's the sort of spur he'll need to kick his career back on track again."