Neil Lennon: Cup final result won affect my Celtic job chances

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNSCeltic manager Neil Lennon. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Neil Lennon is adamant his future as Celtic manager will not be influenced by the outcome of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup final.

The 47-year-old’s interim tenure at the Scottish champions will conclude with the showpiece fixture against Hearts at Hampden Park as he attempts to oversee the completion of a third consecutive domestic treble for the club.

But Lennon remains relaxed about his job prospects beyond that, revealing he will travel to the Costa del Sol on Monday as he awaits a decision from the Celtic board of directors.

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Speculation continues to swirl around the permanent managerial position with former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes now the odds-on favourite for the job with most bookmakers.

Lennon is content he has already fulfilled the demands made of him when he stepped in to replace Brendan Rodgers in February, by ensuring Celtic won their eighth league title in a row, and insists he won’t be judged on whether the Scottish Cup is also retained.

“I feel good because I’ve come in and basically done the job I’ve been entrusted to do,” said Lennon. “Saturday isn’t going to dictate whether I get the job or not.

“I’m going to Marbella on Monday for a few days for my mate’s 50th birthday. I’ll be around on Sunday, then away for three or four days. We’ll see what happens after that.

“If there’s communication to be had, we can do it on Sunday, we can do it over the phone. Look, I’m not pre-empting anything, that’s pointless. What I’m telling you is my plan for after the cup final – go away and see what happens.

“I knew the situation and I’ve said it ad nauseam since I’ve been here. I’ve said it 
will be resolved after the cup final and that hasn’t changed.

“I am more relaxed because the league is out of the way. That is the one that was the bigger stressor, along with the cup semi-final and getting to the final.

“It was almost as if you are being judged game to game – he has to win this, he has 
to win that. That’s not going to be the case at all on Saturday.

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“I’m enjoying it this week. All the pressure for me was on winning the league. That was really important. Now we have the huge bonus of being in the final.

“I’m calm. I’ve learned a lot in the four years I’ve been away, with the ups 
and downs and the whole package that comes with it.

“I’ve also learned not to engage in false news, noise, rumours – all that stuff. There is a lot of that in this day and age.”