BBC’s Q: “Are you the man to do the rebuild?” A: “I’ve done it before. I don’t see why not,” Neil Lennon

First there was Neil Lennon’s interview on Sky Sports after the match which started with a smirk and went downhill from then on. Here’s what POD on Celtic Noise had to say about this interview:

“Lennon’s post match interview was the most obnoxious and insulting interview, I have ever had the misfortune, to hear from a Celtic manager,” he said. “Given the circumstances, its nonchalant manner and tone was in such poor taste and disrespectful, that I thought, I had misunderstood something about it at first. On listening to it again I was appalled to realised that I had heard it correctly.”

We reported late last night on what was perhaps an even more concerning interview with BBC Sportsound’s Rob McLean. Have a read at the text from this interview below and there’s a link at the very end where you can watch it for yourself on the BBC website.

(Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

BBC Sportsound’s Rob McLean – Reaction to that?

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon – “Strange one. It maybe encapsulates our season. It’s a real poor goal to concede. It’s another set play and I’m bitterly disappointed with that. I think we played well tonight, I think we should have won the game comfortably tonight. We had enough real good quality chances to put the game to bed even before half-time.”

Rob McLean – Yes, you could have been three up.

Neil Lennon – “Comfortably, Rob, yes, comfortably. And that’s the frustration. We said look you are playing well, keep it going, and to be fair we created some good chances second half. The goal is inexcusable. We talk ad nauseam about defending set plays and they don’t seem to want to do it this season.”

Rob McLean – It’s been a recurring theme, hasn’t it?

Neil Lennon –  “Yes, you can do all the work on the training ground but the players have got to want to go and head the ball. The biggest guy in their team gets a free header from four, five yards out when we’ve got plenty of players mourned him to deal with it. That’s unacceptable from our point of view.”

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Rob McLean – Is that a lack of bravery?

Neil Lennon – “Em. Possibly. I just think it’s been a running theme for us this season for whatever reason. Mindset. It wasn’t there last year but it certainly is this year.”

Rob McLean – How damaging is that result?

Neil Lennon –  “It’s hugely damaging. It’s the end of a run, we’re 18 points behind, there’s not many games left but we pick ourselves up, it’s going to be difficult but we have to do it somehow. You don’t see the result coming, because we’re on a run, we’re in good form, and like I say the quality of chances we created through good play, it’s inexcusable to miss them.”

Rob McLean – The Celtic fans are obviously in uproar about that result tonight, what do you say to them?

Neil Lennon –  “I apologise. You know, it wasn’t for the want of trying and the attitude of the players was good but we’ve let them down tonight, there is no question about that.”

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Rob McLean – There’s not much you can do I suppose about players missing gilt-edge chances…

Neil Lennon –  “No, that’s the unpredictability at times of being a manager. You know, I thought we worked the ball well and created good chances and when you’re doing that you’re thinking one is going to come. Ross Laidlaw made some good saves second half but certainly two or three opportunities in the first half were guilt edge. I’m disappointed not to have taken them.”

Rob McLean – Does it feel like a big rebuild is required at Celtic?

Neil Lennon – “Yes, I would say so, yes.”

Rob McLean – Are you the man to do the rebuild?

Neil Lennon – “I’ve done it before. I don’t see why not.”

Rob McLean – And has that been communicated to you by the club? Is there clarity on your position to the end of the season and beyond?

Neil Lennon – “Well, yes so far, I’ve not been told anything otherwise so I carry on my duties as normal.”

Photo: Vagelis Georgariou

Rob McLean – And you would like the chance to change things

Neil Lennon – “Yes, I love this job, I love the club, and I’ve had a lot of success. This has been a difficult season, in more ways than one, football and non-football reasons, so yes you always want to rebuild and go again.”

Rob McLean – Does it feel like this is the end of an era that was the quadruple treble team?

Neil Lennon – “Yes, but it’s not a bad era to have…”

Rob McLean – No, it’s fantastic success

Neil Lennon – “Nine league titles and four trebles, it’s incredible. I think it gets a bit overlooked. They are human beings at the end of the day and it was always going to come to an end at some stage.”

Rob McLean – Sometimes you have to say that was it, that was glorious and lets move on.

Photo: Vagelis Georgariou

Neil Lennon – “Absolutely, it’s the whole evolution of clubs.”

Rob McLean – And you’re ready to rock…

Neil Lennon – “Rob, I’m not going to answer any more questions.”

Rob McLean – …with the rebuild.

Neil Lennon – “I’ve already answered that.”

…The Celtic manager walks away from the interview. Watch the interview on the BBC website HERE.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

1 Comment

  1. He’s not answering any more questions because he has run out of answers but the saddest thing of all is he has been a hero to the Celtic support in the past but the legacy he is now leaving will go down in the club history as tarnished.