Thursday 24 October 2019

'There is a good chance I will accept' - Neil Lennon offered Celtic job on permanent basis

Celtic manager Neil Lennon poses with the trophy
Celtic manager Neil Lennon poses with the trophy

Neil Lennon admits there is "a good chance" he will accept the Celtic manager's job offered to him after their record-breaking 2-1 William Hill Scottish Cup final win over Hearts.

The former Hoops boss and captain was brought in until the end of the season in February when Brendan Rodgers suddenly left for Leicester City and he guided the club to an eighth-successive Ladbrokes Premiership title.

An unprecedented domestic triple treble was achieved at Hampden Park on Saturday when an Odsonne Edouard double, the first from the penalty spot, was enough to beat the Jambos who had taken the lead through Ryan Edwards.

After the game, Lennon was offered the post in the dressing room - while covered in champagne - by principal shareholder Dermot Desmond and members of the Parkhead board with chief executive Peter Lawwell stressing that the cup final was irrelevant in terms of the offer and that the club had not spoken to other candidates.

"I think there is a good chance that I will accept the job," said Lennon, who spoke of the hard-fought victory as being "probably one of the best days of my life".

"There are obviously talks to go through but I don't think it will take much to get it done.

"I didn't pre-empt or second guess.

"These guys are class people, they have been true to their word.

"They have kept me abreast of everything. If anyone has ever spoken to Mr Desmond, you know that you get what you see. It could be life-changing for me."

Lawwell gave an impromptu media conference before Lennon and praised the Northern Irishman for stepping in during Celtic's time of need.

He said: "I am delighted to announce after today's event we have offered Neil Lennon the job to become the permanent Celtic manager.

"It is a fantastic day, a fantastic achievement, probably never to be repeated.

"Neil, in our moment of need, stood up to the plate. He's done a fantastic job in difficult circumstances and when you look at his credentials, he is a Celtic man, he is made for Celtic.

"He knows Glasgow, he knows what is required and he is a winner.

"Over the next few days we will work out the details.

"Today was a big occasion for him but Neil would have still been the manager no matter what happened.

"When you sit back and reflect on it, it is an unbelievable achievement.

"Brendan clearly takes a lot of credit for it and we will be forever grateful. But Lenny, as I said, stood up to the plate and we are delighted to have him here.

"He came in at a difficult time, we were eight points ahead with 11 games to go, it wasn't his squad, big shoes to fill and a treble to win - and he did fantastically well."

PA Media

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