Neil Lennon won’t complain if treble is not enough to land Celtic job

Neil Lennon insists he would have no issue with the Celtic board if overseeing the completion of a third consecutive domestic treble is not deemed sufficient to earn him the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon celebrates after the second goal against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS
Celtic manager Neil Lennon celebrates after the second goal against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

Celtic produced the best performance so far of Lennon’s spell in interim charge as they defeated Aberdeen 3-0 at Hampden to book a Scottish Cup final date against Hearts on 
25 May.

The Scottish champions require only two more victories from their final five Premiership fixtures to secure an eighth successive league title, the minimum requirement for Lennon after he stepped into the breach left by Brendan Rodgers’ abrupt exit to Leicester City.

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Lennon revealed he held talks with Celtic’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond over the weekend but has yet to receive any firm indication of his future beyond the end of this season.

Asked if he would be gutted not to be offered the job if Celtic go on to win the treble again, Lennon said: “No – because if the club perceives the best way forward is to go somewhere else, then who am I to argue with that?

“It was a highly pressurised game today but whether it has any impact on my future, I don’t know. I spoke to Dermot on Saturday and he said all the speculation is just noise and nonsense.

“I knew that anyway because these are class people I work for. I’ve worked for them before and know the way they work. They leave me to get on with the job which is obviously reassuring.

“I’ve had no guarantees, no reassurances, no promises. I’m here to do a job and I’m taking it game by game.

Asked if he felt he deserved to be offered the job, Lennon replied: “That’s for other people to decide. Then I’ve got a decision as well.

“I’ve only been here two months. I’m enjoying it. To a certain degree it’s difficult because you are inheriting a very good team who were going well. You don’t want to spoil that, so it’s been a real balancing act for me on a personal level.

“It’s a good challenge – really different pressure to what I’ve experienced before in my career.

“There was a lot of pressure because of the significance of the game today. If we’d lost, the treble treble was gone and the great cup record was gone. So it was really important to negotiate that.”

Lennon remains hopeful Ryan Christie will recover in time for Celtic’s return to Hampden next month after he was carried off following a challenge from Dominic Ball which saw the Aberdeen player sent off.

“We are not sure if it’s a broken eye socket or a fractured cheekbone,” said Lennon. “According to the medical team, we are looking at maybe three or four weeks out.”