Celtic coach Darren O’Dea has disclosed that it didn’t take long for Neil Lennon to win over the dressing room when he was appointed as Hoops caretaker manager, the Daily Record reports.

Lennon took charge of Celtic for the first time 10 years ago today, in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock. O’Dea, the current Hoops under-18s manager, was part of the Hoops squad as a player at that time.

He admits that it didn’t take long for the players to support Lennon, who replaced Tony Mowbray.


“He got the bounce”

“You usually get a bounce when a new manager comes in but that wasn’t the case for him – he got the bounce because of the way he managed the players” O’Dea said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

Neil Lennon celebrates last season's Celtic Scottish Cup win

Neil Lennon celebrates last season’s Celtic Scottish Cup win / (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

“He’s a really good manager, someone you want to play for, and it became apparent really quickly that the players bought into him straight away” O’Dea concluded.

Got job even after a dreadful result

Perhaps Lennon’s popularity among the players was a reason why he still got the job even after losing a Scottish Cup semi-final to Ross County only a few weeks after taking over as caretaker.

Neil Lennon with the Premiership trophy

Neil Lennon with the Premiership trophy (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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That would have usually got a Celtic manager the sack. However, that would have been a mistake by the board, as Lennon has had massive success in both his spells as Celtic manager.

The Hoops were correct to keep faith with Lennon, even after such a poor result. The players backed him, and by the end of the season, the fans and board seemed to back Lennon too.

He was appointed as managed in the summer of 2010, and the rest is history. That might not have happened had he not won the players over so quickly.

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