Lennon suggests trip to Mass and connection to club roots helped inspire Lazio victory

By John McGinley

November 13, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has given an insight into preparations for last week’s superb Europa League victory, sharing that a trip to a Mass service in Rome helped his team connect to the club’s roots, speaking to The Celtic View (13/11, Vol 55, issue 19, page 6).

The 2-1 win against Lazio was Celtic’s first victory in competitive action on Italian soil and ensured we qualified for the knockout stages of the competition with two games to spare.

It’s the first time that a Scottish side has progressed in such a timely manner from a European group.

Lennon was in a reflective mood when considering the victory this week, noting that there were similarities between the preparations for this match and his most famous European win, against Barcelona in 2012.

As quoted by The Celtic View (13/11, Vol 55, issue 19, page 6), he said: “We had a special event in St Mary’s Church in the Calton the evening before the [Barcelona] game where we spoke about the history of the club, about Brother Walfrid and how the club was formed. And on the night of the game, we just felt a crackling in the atmosphere.

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“Then, on the morning of the game in Rome last week, we went to the Scots College for Mass there, and, again we spoke about what Brother Walfrid brought to the club, which was built on faith, hope and love.

“All those little factors were, for me, synonymous with the idea that there’s something brewing here.”

(Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Lennon’s connection

It’s fantastic to hear the Lennon is so embedded within the ethos and culture of the club. Taking inspiration from our founders is a great way to instil the values he wants from his players into the squad, especially the summer newcomers.

The manager goes on to explain in the exclusive interview that he also got a feeling from supporters around the city and in the stadium that Celtic could do something special.

Clearly there’s personal confidence and belief in the project he’s building at Celtic Park. That will only be a positive for us in terms of results and the rapport he’s rapidly building again with fans.

He wasn’t a universally popular choice when given the permanent job, but these latest comments just reaffirm he’s a Celtic man to his very core.

For me, combined with stellar results, that’s worth celebrating.