CELTIC Assistant Manager John Kennedy noticed an increase in intensity among the away support over the last two games against Hearts and Hibs in Edinburgh. And he expects something similar this Saturday when Aberdeen are the visitors to Celtic Park for what will be a homecoming event for Neil Lennon.
Speaking to the new edition of The Celtic View, Kennedy reckoned that the players have been able to feed off the strong backing they’ve received from the stands to secure vital wins in both the Premiership and the Scottish Cup.
“What I’ve noticed in the last week was the fans are disappointed and a bit angry. But it’s worked in the players’ favour because they’ve had the support and a really strong backing from the fans,” Kennedy said.
“There always is here at Celtic but there’s an extra bit here just now.
“We’ve all felt it around the place and the players have fed off that, especially going away to Hearts and Hibs where it’s always difficult.
“Hopefully on Saturday against Aberdeen it’ll be a great atmosphere that the players can thrive on.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes conceded any interest in winning the league this season ahead of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the Rangers at Pittodrie. And with the replay at Ibrox next week, he may be tempted to leave out one or two of his key players with the Scottish Cup becoming his priority.
Celtic have a 100% winning domestic record this season in all competitions and Kennedy and Neil Lennon will be looking forward to extending that at the weekend. Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic are still out but there’s better news regarding Olivier Ntcham who is back training with the squad and will be available for selection.
Lennon has been in constant contact with Leigh Griffiths and he’s expected to return to the squad shortly but it may be after the split before we’re likely to see him back in the side, or it could even be next season.
January signing Bayo yesterday scored for the reserves in a 6-0 away win against Dundee at Station Park in Forfar he and apparently looked much more comfortable in a Hoops jersey. He could be given a place on the bench for the Aberdeen game.
One thing is certain for Saturday, Neil Lennon and indeed John Kennedy, will receive a very warm welcome from the 58,000 Celtic supporters in the sell-out crowd. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Lenny and he knows that all he has to do is keep on winning and the job should be his.