Football

Neil Lennon Says This Season With Celtic Was Toughest Task Of His Career

Neil Lennon Says This Season With Celtic Was Toughest Task Of His Career

Celtic were crowned league champions today after their win over Aberdeen, confirming something that has felt like an inevitability for some time now. It is their eighth title on the trot, and the 10 in-a-row looks very on at the moment.

While winning the league has become routine for The Hoops at this stage, this one had the added challenge of a mid-season management change. Brendan Rodgers' move to Leicester opened the door for Neil Lennon to return to the club after a five year absence.

While one would assume managing Celtic is one of the easiest jobs in football, Lennon said this is not the case. Speaking after today's game (h/t RTE Sport), he claims this was a tougher task than anyone could realise, and was even "the toughest piece of management I have had in 10 years of management":

On the outside it probably looks easy but on the inside there was a lot of discontent and agitation around the club at the time. You had to keep calm.

You need the hide of a rhinoceros and big cojones. I'm not sure I have got them but I certainly have a rhino hide. You need to bat it away and concentrate.

Some of the performances weren't great but we are unbeaten in 11 games so the standard and expectation is very, very high.

We need to take some time, even the supporters, to take stock and enjoy the moment. This is eight titles, it has not been done for a very long time.

So it is a special group of players and the fans should engage in that and not think about nine and 10.

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There are certainly high expectations at the Glasgow club, and you could feel like it is a thankless task at times. Lennon seems to thrive under the pressure, and he was also quick to thank the former manager for his contributions this season.

It is a privilege to manage this club, it is the second time of doing it. I am so proud of the players at the way they handled the occasion.

I have to give Brendan a huge amount of credit, I can't forget that. I don't want to miss him out. He obviously left the foundations and his legacy is very much intact here. From manager to manager, we owe him a great debt of thanks.

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Gary Connaughton

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