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Page last updated at 21:34 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 22:34 UK

Scott McDonald backs Neil Lennon for Celtic job

Scott McDonald and Neil Lennon
McDonald insists Lennon has what it takes to restore Celtic's fortunes

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald believes Neil Lennon has a great chance of becoming the club's new manager.

Lennon, who is leading Celtic until the end of the season after Tony Mowbray was sacked, has said he wants the job.

And Middlesbrough forward McDonald, 26, told Chick Young's World of Football programme that Lennon has the qualities necessary to succeed in the post.

"He's got great ability and has been about some terrific managers, and knows what it's all about to win," he said.

McDonald, who scored 51 goals in 88 games during a three-year spell at Celtic, joined Boro in January for a fee in the region of £3.5m.

And the striker believes Lennon has the winning mentality to succeed at Celtic Park.

He'll be the same in the changing room, full of praise for the lads, wanting them to work hard for him and that's all you can ask

Scott McDonald

"Time will tell," McDonald told BBC Radio Scotland. "I'm confident in his ability and obviously he is as well.

"If he can get the boys going and get on a good streak until the end of the season, and do well in the league - with big game at Celtic Park against Rangers - and win the Scottish Cup, then I think it's all but made for him.

"Even just listening to him speak in the media conference on his first day (you could tell) he wants the job, he's desperate for it and I thought he spoke very well.

"He'll be the same in the changing room, full of praise for the lads, wanting them to work hard for him and that's all you can ask."

McDonald said his Middlesbrough career had yet to get off the ground after recovering from a hernia operation and hamstring injury.

"It's taken a wee while for that to clear up and then the games came thick and fast," said the Australian international.


"And I pulled out with a slight hamstring injury. We've still got a wee chance of getting to the play-offs, but we have to win at the weekend and take it one game at a time."

McDonald aims to star for his country at the World Cup finals in the summer and is hoping for an injury-free end to the season.

"If I can get the next four to five weeks full training, as many games as possible and some goals, then that would be nice as well.

"I'm quite confident I can get into the squad and have a chance of playing. It's exciting and I'm really looking forward to it.

"I didn't make the last squad in 2006, where the lads did fantastically well for our country and put soccer, as they call it, on the map."

Meanwhile, Craig Levein has refused to be drawn on whether he would be have been interested in the Celtic job had he not taken over as Scotland coach a few months ago.

"I'm the Scotland manager, so don't ask me about other jobs, especially jobs other guys are doing," he said.

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see also
Lennon is the right man - Mjallby
01 Apr 10 |  Celtic
Lennon relief at Celtic victory
27 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Chick Young's view
26 Mar 10 |  Scottish Premier
Lennon wants to succeed Mowbray
26 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Strachan signs McDonald & Miller
01 Feb 10 |  Middlesbrough

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