Boyd backs Lennon to earn himself extra time at Celtic

FORMER Celtic captain Tom Boyd is confident Neil Lennon will last beyond the year's deal he has been given as Parkhead boss.

When confirmed as Tony Mowbray's successor at Celtic Park on Wednesday morning, following a spell as interim manager, the Northern Irishman revealed he was on a one-year contract – as opposed to the one-year rolling contract previously popular with the club's board.

However, Boyd believes his former team-mate will extend his tenure as Celtic manager beyond next summer.

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"I'm sure Neil will prove that he will be worthy of a further contract," he said.

"I just think that's the nature of things. The board picked Tony Mowbray and it didn't work out and previous regimes with inexperienced managers haven't worked out too well.

"But having played with him I certainly know his attitude and I'm sure that during the campaign that (contract situation] will change.

"It was a great appointment and I think it was the popular choice with most of the supporters.

"There will be some who won't be happy with it but what he did towards the end of last season, he certainly deserves his shot at it. I like the way he is speaking. He speaks as though he is trying to get the enthusiasm back, both within the team and within the fans.

"That is certainly something that has been missing.

"I think he is trying to get that back and that will certainly help the whole club."

Boyd is hoping Lennon's appointment will be enough to encourage stay-away fans to return to Parkhead.

Sol Campbell, Jimmy Bullard, Liam Lawrence and Joe Ledley are among a vast array of names linked with the club with the former admitting he had spoken to Lennon about a possible move to Glasgow.

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Reports claim the former Leicester midfielder also wants to bring back Robbie Keane and Craig Bellamy – both of whom have had short loan spells in the east end of Glasgow.

Celtic fans stayed away in their thousands last season when the campaign unravelled under Mowbray, leaving Old Firm rivals Rangers to capture their second successive Clydesdale Bank Premier League title.

However, Boyd, dismissed the idea a big name is needed to bring back the disillusioned supporters. "I don't think that should be an issue to entice fans back," he said.