Celtic interim boss Neil Lennon believes John Kennedy will be a manager

By David Walton

March 28, 2019

Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon has stated that John Kennedy has all the tools to become a manager too.

Kennedy is Lennon’s assistant at the Hoops between now and the end of the season. The Northern Irishman has been quick to praise his colleague and highlight his importance to the Celtic cause.

Since retiring back in 2009, Kennedy has been working at Celtic in a variet of different roles. He was once a scout in his early days, before taking charge of the development team. When Ronny Deila was promoted, he was bumped up to first-team coach back in 2014. And now, after the Brendan Rodgers era, he’s the temporary number two at Parkhead.

John Kennedy was wanted by Brendan Rodgers at Leicester (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The pair are currently enjoying a successful start in their respective hotseats. But Lennon told the Celtic View (Volume 54, Issue 35, Page 7) that Kennedy can one day make that step up as a number one.

Celtic turn attention to Ben Davies as Mario Vuskovic interest cools

“John’s great. He’s a superb coach and he has great experience now, working under some great managers here.

“I’ve no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a manager when the time suits John.

“He’s a great buffer for me, and he’s someone I can lean on.”

Kennedy’s past should have no bearing on Celtic contention

If Kennedy does indeed have sights set on the Celtic top job one day, he has to prove himself. Regardless of his years of service in a variety of roles, he needs to cut his teeth in management before being considered here.

You can argue that Lennon himself came in from a similar position. Whilst that is 100% fact, Celtic were in desperate times at that point. The club could barely find a chink of light under Tony Mowbray, and Lennon’s dramatic upturn in results back in 2010 made him shine brightest.

Neil Lennon came in from the cold back in 2010 in desperate circumstances (Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images)

At the moment, Celtic are in a healthy financial position. They can go out and invest in a top manager if they wanted to go down that route. Any chance for Kennedy to be taken into consideration would have to have some proper managerial success behind it.

There’s no denying Kennedy’s commitment to the cause at Parkhead. Refusing to go with Rodgers to Leicester was a great sign, and shows his enjoyment and affection for Celtic.

But if he has a future in management, it certainly can’t ever start here.