Celtic interim boss John Kennedy has claimed his spell in charge of the club was a “priceless experience”.
The former centre-back was also coy about his managerial future. Speaking ahead of his last game in the Celtic dugout – as manager at least – Kennedy was focused more on what the occasion meant for Scott Brown. However, Kennedy will be facing a summer of big decisions himself.
Kennedy told a press conference today [Celtic TV]:
“I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.
“It’s been great experience for myself. [This season has] been a difficult situation but all the players and staff have really rallied round to help us get through this difficult period.
“It’s always my ambition to manage but I’m not in a rush to do it. Circumstances weren’t perfect but it’s an opportunity that not a lot of people can get. It’s really good for me going forward and later in life I’ll probably look back and see it as a priceless experience.
“There’s been a real togetherness, everyone has been very humble and accepting of how the season has went and also taking that responsibility that we stick together right to the end. It’s been a difficult season for all, especially the fans who’ve not been able to come in and support the team. Hopefully, we can finish on a high ad look forward to what the future holds.”
Does John Kennedy have a Celtic legacy from his short stint?
Firstly, I may get absolute pelters for this. But I’d argue there isn’t much more John Kennedy could’ve realistically done with this team.
By the time he was appointed on an interim basis, the dressing room morale was nonexistent. What should’ve been a momentous season unravelled spectacularly. As part of the coaching team, Kennedy received plenty of criticism, himself. Whether it was justified or otherwise, that’s your call to make.
Given his preference to play with wider formations, as seen against Livingston and St Johnstone, Kennedy was already hamstrung from the off. Celtic had been playing a narrow 4-4-2 diamond, and looked largely uncomfortable doing so. Save for a brief run in the winter, it wasn’t a formation that suited our personnel.
So, there was that. And yes, Kennedy was rightly blamed for awful outings against Rangers, reverting to that diamond. When he showed more courage, though, results tended to be better. He’s also handed a debut to Adam Montgomery, brought Karamoko Dembele back into the fold, and could give more opportunities tomorrow.
Would a season under Kennedy have been any different? There’s no real point torturing ourselves with that question. But in short bursts, we’ve seen some positive stuff out of the interim manager. It’s just that, by the time the few good results happened, it was already far too late.
It’s going to be genuinely fascinating to see what he does next.