Mentality of Celtic team is as much to do with Lennon as Rodgers

By John McGinley

November 3, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was quick to praise former boss Brendan Rodgers in the wake of yesterday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final victory over Hibernian at Hampden, The Daily Record report.

The Bhoys’ win was the club’s 30th time in succession we’ve found victory in the two national cup competitions. It’s a winning streak that stretches all the way back to when Rodgers took charge in 2016.

Nobody has been able to lay a hand on us home, away or at Hampden. With no sign of that changing anytime soon, Lennon wanted to note the impact that Rodgers had on forging the mentality that has allowed it to happen.

As quoted by The Record, the manager said: “Anything can happen on any given day. You get bad days – I’ve had them as a player and a manager – but Brendan Rodgers has put this sort of mentality in place and we’re trying to carry that on. The players just don’t want to give that up.

“Everyone’s coming for them but they want to stand there toe to toe with them and keep going.

“We gave them all the warnings that everyone expected us to win it. You have to ignore it. I don’t expect them to win – I hope they can, I believe they can, but to expect something isn’t what we do.”

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Now Lennon’s team as much as Rodgers’

Last season, as Celtic romped to another treble under the guidance of Lennon, it felt smart and magnanimous for Lennon to recognise the contribution of Rodgers. The eleven was still very much imprinted with the identity of the Leicester City man. Last season’s treble wouldn’t have been possible without him, even taking into account the way he left the club.

Now though, the team is far more of a Lennon team than a Rodgers one. That should be recognised in all aspects of our performances, from mentality to quality of victory.

Six of the starting eleven and substitutes who played on Saturday were signed by Lennon in the most recent transfer window. They’ve likely never even met Rodgers.

Lennon is being humble with his comments, but he shouldn’t sell himself short. This is his team now and we’re well on the way to even more success.