You can’t help but tip your hat to former Livingston manager Gary Holt for his mature and dignified exit from Livingston earlier today.
Holt’s Livi had been in a bad way. A dreadful 1-0 home loss to St Mirren left them with four defeats in their last five Premiership games and only two wins in their previous seven league games.
The ex-Livi boss was fuming at the weekend with how his side had been performing, and even pointed the anger to himself and stated he would reflect on his own performance. Speaking to the BBC on Saturday, Holt said: “I asked them to go away and have a look at themselves (the players). I’ll have a look at myself tonight and decide whether what I’m doing is right or if it’s good enough. If it’s not, then we’ll get someone else in.”
And days later he’s officially resigned from the post. Speaking on Livingston’s official website, Holt said: “It is with great regret that I have made the difficult decision to resign as manager of Livingston FC. This is not a decision that I have taken lightly but feel it is the right time for me to step away.”
Compare that with Neil Lennon’s comments yesterday when he spoke in front of the press ahead of tonight’s game against Sparta Prague. As quoted by the Daily Record, he said: “At the minute, I’ve got no intentions of quitting. I don’t think I need to. I don’t think I even need to think about it.”
Time to take a long hard look at the situation
These comments from Lennon were made before Holt resigned. Now, a different perspective has been put on the situation. Lennon doesn’t need to look too far from home to see a manager who’s realised his club has needed a change and did the honourable thing.
Sure, Lennon backers can flip this. They can claim that this simply shows the manager’s strength of character and that he has a stronger level of belief to turn things around here than Holt did at Livi.
Personally, I don’t see it like that. It comes across as though Lennon simply doesn’t want to lose this job due to his own personal reasons than anything that might benefit the club. We all realise that we need a change, but the manager doesn’t. That’s a stubbornness more than it is a comforting reassurance that he’ll turn things around.
Holt has made his decision in admirable fashion. He’s looked at his club’s recent performances and results and taken a step back. He’s taking a look at himself in the mirror and realised that it was time for Livingston to bring in something fresh.
It’s not as if Livi had failed to win in 15 games and were staring relegation in the face. They’re 10th and sitting four points clear of bottom-placed Hamilton. He left before major damage was done.
Lennon isn’t making that same decision when he weighs up Celtic’s form. In fact, he’s deciding to defend it instead.
As the manager prepares to take his team out onto the field against Sparta Prague tonight, he should be in deep thought about whether he should still be there. Holt’s resignation today is a reminder that it’s hardly ridiculous to do the honourable thing when the time is right.