Neil Lennon brushes off suggestion he is eyeing a move to manage in England
Celtic manager Neil Lennon isn’t fazed by the fact he is not linked with vacant manager jobs down in England, insisting his sole focus is on Celtic, speaking to The Daily Mail this week.
The Hoops boss met up via video link with old pal and teammate Chris Sutton to take part in a one-to-one interview on a wide variety of issues at Celtic and the wider game right now.
One of the topics that came up was Lennon’s ambitions to one day manage again in English football, with Sutton living up to his reputation as a man who says what he thinks, even if it’s not exactly what managers and players want to hear.
The former Celtic striker asked: “When Premier League jobs come up down south, or even Championship jobs, I don’t see your name linked. Doesn’t that make you feel under-appreciated?”
Lennon clearly felt Sutton was digging a bit, replying: “That’s a loaded question! I’m not here to put myself out there to attract other clubs. I’m here to make Celtic and myself better. Sometimes the Scottish game gets a little downplayed but in last year’s Champions League final, we had Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama.”
The outspoken pundit would then bring a simple point, that rival manager and Rangers boss Steven Gerrard sometimes gets linked with positions (perhaps most notably at Derby County), when Lennon doesn’t, despite the difference in success.
Again, Lennon gave a great answer, insisting that he is not wound up by that in the slightest.
He told The Daily Mail: “It doesn’t bother me. Steven’s done a very good job at Rangers and he’s got a great profile. I just go about getting on with things here… Sometimes, speculation can be very unsettling for a manager. It can make you take your eye off the ball. I’m quite happy, really happy, with what I’m doing at Celtic. If there’s speculation surrounding me, it’s not welcome at the moment.”
It’s fair to say Sutton is prodding a little here. There is absolutely no danger of Lennon leaving Celtic anytime soon.
Since he’s returned to the club he’s been incredibly humble and a leader of the Celtic cause. With ten-in-a-row on the line, there will be no dragging of Lennon away to pastures new.
Gerrard is a big name in England and was an iconic captain at one of the world’s biggest clubs right now, so that’s why he gets linked with some jobs as much as anything.
He’s certainly not demonstrated anything in Glasgow that would suggest he is a winning manager.
Lennon, on the other hand, will be in the dugout hoping to prove he very much is, again, next season.