Murdo MacLeod feels Scottish Cup could spare Lennon Celtic sacking
Celtic great Murdo MacLeod believes that Neil Lennon could buy himself some time if he wins the Scottish Cup against Hearts on December 20th.
The Hoops will face the Championship club in an empty Hampden stadium as they go toe-to-toe in a bid to win last-season’s delayed competition.
Celtic’s appetite for a quadruple was at its peak during the summer, with the announcement that the Scottish Cup would finish this season sparking some excitement from the fans. However, the massive demise of the club this season (including only two wins in 12 games) has seen that appetite squashed.
But even so, MacLeod feels that no Celtic manager can be sacked just after they’ve won the biggest cup competition in the country.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Murdo said: “Of course it could be a catalyst. If you’re still at the club and you’ve won the Scottish Cup – you can’t sack a manager who’s just won the Scottish Cup. He’s got to keep on going.
“Hopefully by then Celtic are on a run.
“There’s still a chance (for the title). You’ve just got to get on with it and just hope it’s going to start turning at some point. But the players themselves have got to look at themselves in the mirror.”
League could be over before Scottish Cup final
At the moment our 10-in-a-row chase is at a crisis point. We’re 13 points clear of Rangers, but if you’re optimistic you’ll say it’s pretty much seven given the two games in-hand we hold over our rivals.
However, it’s worth remembering that Celtic still have one Premiership game before they face Hearts in 13 days’ time. We’ve still to face Kilmarnock at Celtic Park next weekend – a team who’ve already taken points off of us and at a venue where we’ve not won in five.
So you can’t look at the Scottish Cup and feel Lennon is entitled to it. Not when we’re effectively one more defeat from the league being over or effectively taken out of our hands at least. Last season’s delayed Hampden showpiece is the last thing on our minds.
And, even if we win that Killie clash and follow it up with another win against Hearts, it doesn’t do anything. Yes, it finishes off the quadruple treble and bookends a historic period of dominance from the club domestically. But it does nothing for the future, and it won’t lift anyone’s spirits given how we’ve performed in the Premiership and in Europe this season.
If Lennon beats Hearts he won’t be sacked right after it. We all know that. However, if he was to slip up in his next game at home to County? That’s a different matter. Just because he will have won the Scottish Cup doesn’t mean that he’s immune to being sacked days later if another blip comes along.
We have to look at the big picture this season. For me, winning the Scottish Cup of last season doesn’t do a lot to redeem the recent displays.
In other news, Chris Sutton now clearly owes Leigh Griffiths an apology for his accusatory November remarks.