DCSIMG

Neil Lennon to assess options after Celtic exit

Neil Lennon. Picture: John Devlin

Neil Lennon. Picture: John Devlin

Neil Lennon says he has “no idea” where he will go next after announcing he is to step down as Celtic manager.

The Irishman’s departure was confirmed by the Parkhead club in a statement yesterday with speculation rife that he was due to take up a post in England.

Lennon’s decision to end his four-year reign at the Scottish champions has been attributed to him becoming “increasingly frustrated” and “unsettled” at the prospect of staying in charge at a time of diminishing investment in the club, former players and colleagues said last night.

Speaking at Glasgow airport, before flying out to Saturday’s Champions League final in Lisbon, he said:

“I’ve no idea, I’ve not given it any thought.

“Everyone’s speculating about me walking from this job to another job and that’s not the case at all.

“We’ll see what the future brings. I’m looking forward it. I’m going into the unknown a little bit with it but I’m very content with what we’ve achieved in the last four years.

“It’ll take a bit of time to digest it. I’m content with the decision.

“We’ve had a brilliant four years. It’s been success on the field, it’s been topsy-turvy off the field but it’s never been dull.

“It’s been a very, very exciting period in my life. I just felt the time was right now for something else.

“I’d just like to thank everyone associated with the club for everything that they’ve done for me.”

In the meantime, Lennon will help Celtic in appointing his successor, and he called on supporters to rally behind the new manager.

In a statement released by the club, Lennon expressed his pride at leaving the side in “such good health”.

In it he said: “I have supported Celtic all my life and the club will always be part of me. It was an absolute honour to play for this great club, to captain the team and of course to become Celtic manager, a position which I cherished dearly. However, I feel the time is now right to move on to a new challenge.”

Lennon replaced Tony Mowbray in March 2010, although his first full season ended in disappointment, as Rangers snatched the title. Since then, however, he has won the three league titles – only the fourth Celtic manager to do so – and two Scottish Cups.

There were good results in Europe, too, as Lennon’s team reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League last year, a run that included a famous home win over Barcelona.

 

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