"Not about me"; Celtic interim boss John Kennedy isn't in audition mood

By Euan Davidson

February 26, 2021

Celtic interim boss John Kennedy is focussed on the present.

The former assistant to Neil Lennon isn’t worrying about the summer. For now, his remit is to ignore speculation and win football matches for Celtic.

Having just brought Stephen McManus into his team, Kennedy has 8 games to help the Bhoys to a respectable end-of-season tally. Any talk of what’s beyond that is of no interest, the interim manager explained.

In an interview with the Celtic website, Kennedy said:

“It’s difficult to make drastic changes. Results haven’t always been forthcoming this season. There have been areas of the game which have been fine, but there have been areas we need to brush up on. I’ve tried to take the emotion and stress out of the situation.

Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen | LIVE Reaction

“I want to strip us back to what makes us a good team, to the process, what makes us good and what has made us successful, and make the players realise that. It’s as much about psychology this week, so we’ve had to try and keep a lid on that, keep the love and confidence around the place.

“This has never been about me. I’ve been here a long time, I’ve always applied myself and for me personally, I’ve no interest in looking beyond this period of time in terms of what it means to me. It doesn’t matter to me. I want to guide them through this period, and maximise what’s left of the season.”

John Kennedy, back in 2007, battling in the Champions League. / (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Celtic interim boss John Kennedy on tactical approach

Kennedy, described as a talented tactician by Shaun Maloney, also spoke about how he wanted his side to approach Aberdeen. In the last battle between the two teams, a David Turnbull goal was enough. However, it wasn’t the most convincing performance, and Kennedy knows a better display will be needed.

The interim boss said:

“We’re a team who in the main will dominate possession and it’s about fine tuning within that, in terms of what we do with that possession. And then it’s about how we limit Aberdeen in forward areas. They can be very aggressive in the box and at set-plays. We did that well for large periods of the last game, we created decent chances until the last 10-15 minutes.

“We need to be aggressive at the top end, and also with the ball. We want to control the game when we have the ball. For periods of the season, we haven’t done that well enough. We just need to have better play from the back and at the top end be a little more clinical, and trust each other in the team.”

READ MORE: Our predicted XI for Kennedy’s first match in charge of Celtic.