Celtic interim boss John Kennedy is suggesting that the Bhoys “face up” to the season.
The Bhoys have had a dreadful 20-21, a season which promised much, but delivered disappointment. The interim boss, and former assistant to both Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers, is in his temporary position due to bad results and performances, after all.
A costly mistake against Dundee United on Sunday would mean Rangers winning the title. That’s before a tricky Glasgow Derby on the 21st of March. Kennedy admits that veteran players may use the Rangers title situation as extra motivation ahead of Sunday’s noon kick-off.
“We’ve got to think about ourselves”
Appearing amiable and relaxed, Kennedy cut a cool figure in today’s press conference. Shared in full by Celtic TV, Kennedy was asked (2.30) whether the title permeations had given his side extra motivation.
The interim boss said:
“It might be. Again, we can’t worry about what might be going on elsewhere. We’ve got to think about ourselves, and that’s where we’re at.
“Ultimately Rangers are sitting in a very strong position and if we were sitting in that position we would be feeling confident.
“So we have to think about ourselves, face up to the season. This is the way it has been but what do we do to get moving forward and that’s improve on performances and be more consistent.
“There was lots in the Aberdeen game I really liked, especially in the first half when we were slick and smooth in our play and created good opportunities, and I think if we get a second goal it is a totally different game.
“We have tried to instil more belief and confidence in ourselves as the week has gone on and we just want to show that in our performances and park what might or might not be elsewhere.
“Obviously it might be in the back of some people’s heads who have been here a long time, and if that is extra motivation then great, use it for that. But ultimately it won’t be a motivating factor.”
Celtic interim boss John Kennedy focussed only on results
In many ways, it’s a shame that Kennedy took over after it was all too late. While Celtic were hardly barnstorming against Aberdeen last weekend, there were at least positive signs. Had Lennon left earlier, and Kennedy was appointed interim boss before the chasm at the top of the table really opened, the situation might be somewhat different.
Still, these were good quotes. John Kennedy seems to be level-headed, and his calm demeanour represents a refreshing change of pace at the very least.
However, he knows as well as supporters do that the players will be feeling pressure. There are plenty long-standing Celtic players young and old who realise the significance of the Dundee United match.
Here’s hoping that pressure doesn’t get to them.
With a boss like Kennedy, even on a short-term basis, the players are unlikely to get too carried away.