Stephen Welsh has paid tribute to Neil Lennon, as the Irishman leaves the club. The 21-year-old defender has thanked the departed manager for giving the player a break with the 9IAR Champions, giving him his breakthrough with the club. Welsh has been one of the bright spots this season on what has been an incredibly disappointing season.
As reported by The Sun, Welsh thanked Lennon for giving him a run in the first team but said that he is committed to improving results under interim boss John Kennedy.
“It’s been a difficult week for everyone at the club and it’s all part of the learning curve for me. It’s never nice to see a manager leave and you feel a wee bit of responsibility.
“The performances on the pitch haven’t been good enough and that is why it has happened. We are moving on now with John Kennedy and trying to get results.
“But I will always have a lot to owe the old gaffer — he gave me my debut, my derby debut and my European debut.
“I can’t thank him enough for that and what he did for me.
“As a footballer, all you want is someone to trust you and give you a chance. That’s what he did for me.”
Welsh first made his debut last season in a win over Hamilton but backed up an impressive debut with solid displays this season, where defensive stability was thin on the ground. Welsh will be hoping to kick on under a new boss, proving that Lennon was right to introduce him into the starting XI.
Lennon has won ten titles with Celtic, eight Scottish Cups and three league cups in two spells as manager and one as a player. He will always be a Celtic legend but it was clear that his time as manager was up. Lennon will be recognised for all that he has done for the club but it may take some time as this season has been incredibly tough for everyone involved.