John Kennedy was quizzed about Eddie Howe and the Celtic managerial situation from the off in his press conference today, which drew a wry smile from the interim boss.
I’m sure he knew what he was in for when faced by the press pack today.
There’s only really one topic on the table regarding Celtic right now.
Nobody’s even talking about facing Rangers in the cup next week, never mind Livingston in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
So, what did Kennedy say about it all and what should we take, if anything, from his comments?
The first question bluntly queried whether any news about Eddie Howe had filtered down to Kennedy, to which he said [YouTube]: “No, most of the chat has taken place through the media, different streams. There’s a lot of speculation and that’s the way it is in terms of managerial change.
“When there’s no immediate appointment a lot of rumours start, a lot of stories go round. That’s the way it’ll probably be until the club decide what their next step is. In terms of us, it’s a case of focusing on the football.”
The former defender was then asked if he expected to see out the season as manager.
Kennedy said: “I don’t know. It’s very short term at the moment. Obviously, a lot of times in the past you’re kind of looking towards the end of the season and the pre-season and everything else. But we can’t do that because of the situation we are in. Basically it’s week-to-week.”
Kennedy did confirm that functional pre-season plans such as start dates etcetera were being worked on during this period, so it’s not as if Celtic are completely in the dark about the next few months.
For now, it appears actual work to the squad in terms of deciding which players stay on is currently on hold, going by his comments.
The line of questioning turned to season tickets. It was put to Kennedy that fans will soon be asked to put in a lot more money to the club with plans up in the air.
However, the interim manager called for patience and trust that the club are doing the right thing, stating: “That’s something for the club to address in terms of when that comes around.
“Ultimately the club have to make the right decision for the greater good of the club going forward. Do you bring a manager in, just name a manager right now for the sake of a season book or do they make sure they make the right decision long-term?
“I understand it’s difficult, without clarity. I think people probably expect that everyone behind the scenes knows everything and they should let everyone know everything but some things have to stay private.
“We’ve just got to be patient. It’s been a difficult season, everyone understands that. The club wants to do the right thing moving forward. Sometimes that takes a bit longer than everyone would like.”
Human nature being what it is, everyone will probably take what they like from between the lines of what Kennedy is saying. I’d urge you to watch the press conference for yourself on YouTube. Sometimes comments you read can be perceived differently than when you watch.
For me, the impression is that Kennedy is obviously toeing the company line, as you’d expect. However, there is optimism in his comments and he pointedly doesn’t dismiss any rumour that is put to him.
It seems clear that Celtic are hoping to appoint Eddie Howe, but recognise it’s a process that doesn’t site nicely with the expected timeline of an excited support.