Neil Lennon identifies 'pivotal moment' in managerial career

By John Reid

March 28, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has identified what was the ‘pivotal moment’ in his managerial career, BBC Sport reports.

With the 10th anniversary of his first ever game as a manager just past, Lennon has been looking back on his time as a manager. He feels the comeback against Kilmarnock in 2011 was a key moment.

Celtic, already miles behind Rangers in the title race, found themselves 3-0 down at Rugby Park at half-time. Lennon knew he was in trouble.

“That was a pivotal moment” Lennon said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

“I was going to get sacked”

“The reality was that if we continued in the same vein I was going to get sacked” he explained. Lennon then turned to his players.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“I got after the players a wee bit. I went in and said, ‘Look lads, see if you want me here on Monday, you have to turn this around because we’re embarrassing the club and the fans out there”.

Lennon’s comments to the players paid off, as the Hoops staged a remarkable second-half comeback to grab a point in a 3-3 draw.

Celtic then went on a lengthy unbeaten run, and ironically won the title on the club’s next visit to Rugby Park in a memorable 6-0 victory.

Success can be traced back to that one game

Lennon’s success as Celtic manager can all be traced back to that one game at Rugby Park. If Celtic hadn’t made that comeback, he might well have lost his job. If that had happened who knows what would be happening with the club.

Neil Lennon celebrates winning the title against Kilmarnock in 2012 (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Thankfully, Lennon managed to steady the ship, and the Hoops have had unparalleled success in the last nine years.
Lennon deserves huge credit for that. He started the run of eight consecutive titles, and is on the verge of clinching the ninth as manager.