Lennon gets another new backer as Celtic momentum grows
Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough became the latest figure to get behind Celtic boss Neil Lennon last night.
Lennon’s backers have certainly been out in force in recent times. Lubo Moravcik was out only yesterday talking up the prospect of a quadruple treble (Glasgow Times). Didier Agathe also appeared from nowhere last week to big up his backing of Lennon (Scottish Sun). From Gary Caldwell (BBC) to Robbie Neilson (Daily Record) – it’s a list as long as your arm.
And now it appears that he has international backing too. The manager of Lennon’s homeland – Baraclough has now been talking up Lennon’s fighting spirit. He also doesn’t believe the Celtic boss has been treated with the appropriate respect.
With Rangers losing their first game of the season last night, Lennon is starting to pick up some momentum. The Northern Ireland is now the latest to talk him up.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Baraclough said: “I obviously follow what’s going on in Scottish football and it disappoints me to see some of the things Neil’s had to endure.
“I don’t think he’s been given the respect he deserves, given what he’s done over his two periods in charge of Celtic. It’s his first real blip, from what I can remember, and the club have been tremendous with their backing for him.
“Neil’s a fighter and I respect him for that.”
A big last seven days for Celtic and Lennon
These comments from Baraclough may be a small gesture, but they’re important for Lennon. It helps him continue his recent momentum on and off the pitch as he bids to win over the Celtic faithful.
Two wins against Lille and Kilmarnock were baby steps in the right direction. Coupled with figures continuously coming out and throwing their weight behind Lennon has brought him some good press too.
Then you had events last night. Rangers’ weak display at St Mirren and subsequent Betfred Cup KO was terrific for Lennon. It took some of the spotlight away from him. The Celtic fans will now be focusing on the deficiencies at Ibrox a touch more.
It just twists the narrative for the Hoops manager and at an important time too. With the build-up to the game at Ibrox starting to kick-in, this could be a monumental turning point for Lennon.
Of course, it can’t stop here. Celtic face Hearts in Sunday’s Scottish Cup final and it already looks like being a cracker. We then have games against Ross County, Hamilton, and Dundee United. All of these are winnable. All of these are further momentum builders.
It’s been a hugely positive week for the Celtic boss. But he needs to make it the first of many.