“It wasn’t even a spat,” Neil Lennon Speaks Ahead Of Return To Sharing Dugout With Jim Goodwin & Insists The Match Must Go Ahead Despite Coronavirus Cases

Celtic travel to St Mirren on Wednesday night and the Buddies are now lead by former player, Jim Goodwin. It’s seven years on from the encounter, however, journalists are keen to point out that Lennon once received a touchline ban from the SFA for an incident involving himself and Goodwin in match between Celtic and the Saints back in 2013.

Goodwin now challenges Lennon as a manager for the first time and when asked about sharing the dugout with one another, the Celtic boss told the Daily Record:

“It wasn’t even a spat with Jim, it was nothing. I get on well with him.

“He did a brilliant job at Alloa and has steadied the ship at St Mirren.

“There is a really good structure and organisation to how they play. They’ve had a good start to the season and are decent at home.

“They are a tough nut to crack now and that’s all down to Jim and his staff. He’s done a good job and shows intelligence in the tactical sense of his game.

“Jim was a young lad coming through at Celtic when I was a player.

“He went to England, had a good career as a player then came back to Scotland to start his coaching career.

“He created a good style of play at Alloa and has made St Mirren tougher to beat on a very limited budget.

“He kept them in the division last season and they look well-established now. They don’t look like cannon fodder for anyone.”

Another line of questioning touched on the blow St Mirren were dealt recently when two players, including keeper Jak Alnwick, tested positive for Covid-19. Their match against Hibs went ahead yesterday, resulting in a 3-0 defeat. But Lennon sees no reason why the midweek clash should be in doubt.

The Celtic manager said: “There’s no reason to think our game won’t be on. Just because two Saints players got the virus, we can’t shut the whole thing down.

“If the rest of the squad is fit and healthy we’re OK to carry on unless it spreads like wildfire through the club.

“We have to progress now. We can’t keep stopping and starting otherwise we’ll never get the game off the ground.

“We want to build momentum and make up for lost ground in the league.

“Potentially, we’ve six games between now and the next international break.

“Ideally, we want to get our teeth into it now because it has been a bit stop-start so far.”

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic as a young child during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. At the age of 19, I published my first Celtic book (Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support). Then, last year, I published my second book (Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events), which is sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores.

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