No expiry date for the Celtic job, says Strachan

GORDON Strachan has rejected the notion that there might be a set shelf life for a Celtic manager.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon keeps an eye on training. Picture: SNS
Celtic manager Neil Lennon keeps an eye on training. Picture: SNS

The issue was last week raised with Neil Lennon, pictured below, as he approaches four years in the post – the precise point at which Strachan decided to step down. But the Scotland manager sees no great significance in the length of service he gave to the Celtic job before deciding his time was up.

“[What counts] is your enthusiasm, what you see in front of you, the excitement you get, and the options to it. Who are we talking about here? Anybody in particular?” Strachan joked, Lennon having said recently that he talked to his predecessor about shelf life in the position.

“I think it is how you feel yourself. Are you still enthusiastic about any job? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel? Do you see progress? Are you enjoying it? Brilliant, get on with it.”

Strachan chose not to get on with the Celtic job after his fourth season became the first not to deliver title success for the club.

His motivation for moving on, though, was altogether more personal, he would maintain.

“I am just different from everybody else,” he said. “I just did what I thought was the right thing for my family at the time. But I did enjoy it, it was great fun. I didn’t realise what good fun it was until I wasn’t working.

“And I also like not working, by the way. I wasn’t sitting about the house thinking ‘oh hey’. With those top jobs every day is something different, it makes you feel alive.”

Strachan has become a mentor to more people than just Lennon in recent years. He is, though, highly discreet about the sounding-board role he performs for the former charges now donning tracksuits.

“I speak to ex-players six, seven times a week and it is great,” said Strachan.

“They are all starting to get into coaching. They hated it at the time, but they want to be coaches now.

“They are a bit like me. [Former Leeds manager] Howard Wilkinson was always my Samaritan call. When you see him calling it was ‘oh, here we go’, a depression case. I have not seen what Neil has said, but there are six or seven people a week that I speak to and it would be wrong for me to speak about any private conversation.”