24 Mar Neil Lennon remembers taking charge at Celtic 10 years on
Neil Lennon admits the decade since he first took charge of Celtic seems like a lifetime ago.
Lennon was handed the reins on a caretaker basis on March 25, 2010 – the day after a 4-0 defeat by St Mirren had spelled the end of Tony Mowbray’s brief stint in the Parkhead hot seat.
The 48-year-old won five trophies in his first spell as boss before leaving in the summer of 2014, and has won a clean sweep of domestic competitions since returning to the role just over a year ago.
Lennon told Celtic’s official website: “It feels like a lifetime rather than 10 years because there’s been so much crammed into it, and there have been so many great times over the 10 years.
“It was obviously off the back of Tony leaving, and I had to very quickly assemble a team together as well. It was myself and Johan Mjallby. He was in Stockholm at the time but he answered the call very, very quickly.
“We just had to get an improvement in the team, get some wins and boost the morale of the players and the supporters as well.
“It was so different from the second time taking over last year, where everything was so successful. It was the polar opposite, where we were struggling, we were inconsistent and the league had already, more or less, gone.”
Scottish Cup hopes soon disappeared following a semi-final defeat by First Division Ross County.
“I was just very angry with the players,” Lennon said. “They didn’t show the right attitude on the day and it was only my third game in charge. We’d beaten Kilmarnock and then Hibs, and then it was the semi-final at Hampden against Ross County.
“There was a lack of application and attitude on the day, and I came out and said some really strong words, but I meant it, and it seemed to have the desired effect for the rest of the season.”
Lennon was appointed on a long-term basis after winning the last six matches of the season.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work at a club like this where, although you’re not guaranteed success, there’s a good chance of success,” he added.
“You’re working with great coaches and players every day, and to get the job for a second period was amazing as well. So I’m just absolutely thrilled with the way things have gone.”