Celtic may not have been at their best, but their full-time celebrations in the 2-1 win at Hearts was much-needed.
Neil Lennon decided to take charge in the dugout this evening, and what an evening it was at Tynecastle.
James Forrest gave Celtic a lead against the run of play before half-time. Hearts were then reduced to 10 men thanks to a red card for Jamie Brandon. The Jambos would equalise from the spot through Oliver Bozanic just after the break as the game got nervy.
Yet, thankfully, Odsonne Edouard stepped up to slam home a huge goal to seal a massive three points.
Celtic remain eight points clear at the top of the Premiership. And that elation was evident at full-time.
After the whistle went, Lennon made a dash for each and every player. The elation on his face was terrific to see, and there was a genuine joy there that clearly wasn’t there under the old manager.
Yet, notably, Lennon went round each and every player and subsequently made them feel good about themselves. He made sure to congratulate every individual that played their part, and shared his excitement with them all.
Lennon’s emotion was incredibly refreshing
It was the kind of emotional scenes we haven’t seen for a long time. Life under Rodgers was sensational in terms of success, but that was a proper Celtic fan at full-time in Lennon. He couldn’t contain his excitement, and his return to the club has been fully announced tonight.
It’s also worth mentioning that those full-time celebrations was the tonic the club needed. It’s provided the fans with real peace of mind that the players aren’t sulking. Come time-up, everyone was full of joy and didn’t seem to be despondent about Rodgers’ departure.
Come Saturday at Easter Road, there’s no denying the performance levels need to improve. John Kennedy and Lennon had next to no time to prepare thoroughly for tonight’s match.
This weekend in what’s shaping up to be a massive Scottish Cup quarter-final clash against Hibs, expect a much more organised side, and therefore better performance.
But that Edouard goal and full-time celebrations told us a lot about where club morale is at. And it’s nothing to be worried about.