Neil Lennon opens up on the emotions of managing in a Glasgow derby

By Hamish Carton

December 27, 2019

Neil Lennon was in fine form earlier as he met press ahead of this Sunday’s crucial Premiership derby against Rangers.

The Northern Irishman is no stranger to the fixture. The Celtic Park clash will be his 17th Glasgow derby in the dugout while he has enjoyed and endured many more as a player.

Yet, when asked which one of the roles carries less pressure on the big day, he was in no doubt of his answer as he got a big laugh from the assembled media.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Give me my boots,” Lennon said. (Official Celtic YouTube channel)

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The gaffer then went on to explain the varying emotions associated with different results in the volatile fixture. And many may be surprised to hear his main feelings after winning the game.

“Look, it’s a privilege managing,” he continued. “I think the overriding emotion when you win is relief first of all, then obviously a sense of real happiness.

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“When you lose you don’t come out of the house for a couple of days until you recover.

“But it never changes. You think it’ll subside as some stage but I’ve been here 20 years and it’s not subsided once.”

Lennon is going for personal milestone against Rangers

Lennon holds a pretty impressive record as manager against Rangers over the years. He’s won nine of his 16 matches, drawing two and losing five. He’s also had the upper hand over Gers boss Steven Gerrard – winning three of their four meetings despite only one of them being at Celtic Park.

That will all change on Sunday though as the Celtic faithful get set to back the team to the hilt. Nothing will faze Lennon about the fixture anymore. He understands what is required to get a result and, rather importantly, do a number of his players.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

There can’t be any members of the Celtic playing squad with negative records against the Ibrox side. They all know what it takes to beat them and have done so on at least a couple of occasions.

Hopefully Lennon is celebrating his own personal milestone – a tenth derby win as boss – come Sunday evening.