John Kennedy says 'panic' and 'massive overhaul' won't help Celtic win back title

John Kennedy rejected suggestions that Celtic require to rip everything up and start again to claim back a title they have given up in abject fashion this season.

Celtic interim manager John Kennedy accepts emotional will run over the demand for change following the club's competitive collapse in their 10-in-a-row chasing season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The scoreless draw at Tannadice not only confirmed Rangers as champions but allowed them to win the title through boasting a thumping 20-point advantage with six games still to play.

The need for a new manager to assume the reins from current interim Kennedy, who in turn took over from the departed Neil Lennon last month, is the obvious first port of call for the board and incoming chief executive Dominic McKay but the need for a complete squad overhaul with the expected summer departures of Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie seems as pressing as a new face to helm up the club. Kennedy, though, refused to go there on the back of the 12th Premiership encounter in 32 wherein Celtic have dropped points.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

“I think there is always panic in these moments and it can be very emotional at times, especially in the city of Glasgow where it is always Celtic and Rangers; when one wins and the other doesn’t there is a setback and everyone gets so concerned by it,” he said. “Yes, there have been concerns this year that have to be addressed but massive overhauls don’t often work so we have to be stable. We know what we have to fix and we have to make sure we fix it.”

Kennedy lamented a litany of “big chances” missed against Dundee United to bring about the final death knell for the championship honours, and conceded that Celtic have been drained of confidence by the nosediving of their fortunes in the past six months – their latest failure meaning they couldn’t even keep the issue live ahead of their hosting of Rangers in a fortnight.

“That is a by-product of it [the fact] we just weren’t good enough. Our general play was good I can’t fault them for attitude and commitment that was absolutely spot on. It was just that little bit of quality in the box. It’s been too many times this season. Sometimes you go through rough moments and confidence plays a part in that in terms of a little bit more calmness in front of goal getting a better reward. We were a bit tense and when you don’t take three or four chances you start to think ‘here we go again’.

“Everyone’s disappointed. Us as much as the fans. It’s been a rough season and ultimately we have to face up to the fact we have not been good enough this year and Rangers have been better than us and that’s why Rangers have won the league. But we’ve had such a long spell of dominance, not just in the league but other competitions as well, and this is a setback. We can’t stand back and feel sorry for ourselves and think ‘oh well that’s gone’ we have to keep driving forward. There is the Scottish Cup to play for.”

Kennedy would not comment on the clamour for Celtic to give Rangers a guard of honour sure to rear up over the fact the Ibrox side will head to Parkhead as champions. “I’m not interested in it right now, to be honest,” he said.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.