Town man at Celtic helm

LURGAN man Neil Lennon has made a good start in his bid to take on one of the biggest jobs in British football.

Taking over at the helm at Glasgow Celtic until the end of the season following the sacking of Tony Mowbray he began his reign with a convincing win.

Celtic responded to their former captain's demands by playing with a higher tempo against Kilmarnock than had been evident under Tony Mowbray.

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"It is only one game and there's always that honeymoon period, I suppose," said Lennon, with next weekend's trip to Hibernian in mind. "Easter Road is always a difficult place to go so I'll give them a couple of days to rest up."

The 38-year-old received a rapturous reception on entering the dug-out on Saturday with his name chanted throughout the subsequent 90 minutes by a crowd which had been noticeably boosted, in number and spirit, by the management change.

“This is an opportunity that I couldn't turn down," he said. "In my mind I am the Celtic manager until I am told otherwise. Out of crisis comes opportunity and it is up to me to make the most of that.

"The most experienced managers could come here and not do as well as expected. I have played the game for 20 years, been here for 10 years, I know the culture of the club and the culture of the country.

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“There is nothing here that will bring up any surprises for me. I know the expectations of the supporters, they expect us to win games and I have to transmit that to the players as quickly as possible.

"This is a huge chance for me to make a name for myself at a club where I want to be. I'm ambitious, I'm hungry; I know this might be the shortest managerial job for a while but I've go to take it on and make as much of it as I can."

Facing Lennon in the run in to the season are two big games against Rangers in the league and Ross County in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.

Lennon was brought to Celtic by the then manager Martin O’Neill who had also managed him at Leicester City.

The former midfield player began his career with Sunnyside and Glenavon in Lurgan.