Martin O’Neill has given Neil Lennon his backing as the best man for the Celtic job.
Following soon after the Champions League defeat from Ferencvaros there are grounds to question the direction that Celtic are going in with a string of domestic displays lacking conviction.
Some fans on social media have speculated over O’Neill returning to take over but the former Leicester boss is convinced that the right man is already in place.
He told The Sun:
People would probably expect me to stick up for Neil, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe it. For one thing, this season is still in its infancy.
Secondly, he won a Treble last season and that wasn’t too bad, was it? There is a rush to judgement at times, which I understand. If you lose a big game, like to Rangers, then judgements are made.
People talk about systems and formations, back fours and back threes. So you are open to criticism and that’s just the way it is. There’s not a lot anyone, least of all Lennon, can do about that but what I would say is that it’s a long season.
By the looks of it, Rangers have been good this season at winning games they weren’t winning in the last few years. They have been able to stick at it and show some durability but Celtic scored very late in a game against St Johnstone, and that was important.
It’s too early for criticism, particularly for a manager who has actually succeeded at Celtic, both as a player and a manager. He took over from Brendan Rodgers, and was able to turn that around to win the title.
O’Neill was in charge of Celtic from June 2000 to May 2005 with Lennon one of his first signings, for a club record of £6m.
Under Gordon Strachan Lennon became club captain in 2005 but two years later he moved on to Nottingham Forest before a brief spell at Wycombe and return to Celtic in March 2008 as first team coach.
In February 2019 Lennon returned to Celtic as caretaker manager after the sudden exit of Brendan Rodgers, after winning the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts he was given the job on a permanent basis.