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Celtic caretaker boss Neil Lennon wants job permanently

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Lennon says that he is seeking a winning mentality from the players

Celtic caretaker boss Neil Lennon has revealed he wants the job on a permanent basis.

The former club captain was given the position following Tony Mowbray's sacking on Thursday.

"It's an institution and one of the best-supported clubs in the world," Lennon told a media conference at Celtic's Lennoxtown training complex.

"Everyone knows what this club means to me. I'm going to try to bring success as long as I'm in this position."

Mowbray was sacked on Thursday after just nine months of a turbulent reign.

Former Northern Ireland international Lennon has recruited former team-mate Johan Mjallby as his assistant.

Lambert dismisses Celtic speculation

His first game in charge will be Saturday's home league game against Kilmarnock.

"Obviously, I am coming in in difficult circumstances but I have a job to do between now and the end of the season," said Lennon.

"I'm trying to keep calm and not get carried away. I love football and the next stage for me after football is coaching."

Celtic are 10 points behind league leaders Rangers, having played two games more than their Old Firm rivals.

And Lennon said he would be impressing the need to emulate their rivals' winning mentality.

The former skipper was signed by Martin O'Neill from Leicester for £5.75m in 2000 and starred in Celtic's midfield in a successful seven-year spell.

He left Celtic for spells at Wycombe and Nottingham Forest before returning to the club to take up a coaching role in 2008.

With Celtic's title challenge all but over, the club can salvage something from a disappointing season if they lift the Scottish Cup.

Before then, they will have to overcome semi-final opponents Ross County, and Lennon is relishing the challenge.

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"I have got to win as many games as I can and get as close to Rangers as we possibly can in the league and try to win the cup," he said.

"You just take the job and see where it takes you, even if things go well it may not be offered to me."

Mowbray was axed following the 4-0 drubbing by relegation-threatened St Mirren in midweek.

And Lennon, who took his first training session with the squad on Friday morning, is demanding an improvement.

"Up until the St Mirren game things were going okay, but the players understand the performance was unacceptable," he said.

"I have made it clear what is expected of them between now and the end of the season.

"I would like us to be more direct, press teams more and get the crowd going; speed up the tempo of the game.

"They have trained well this morning and we are looking forward to tomorrow's game and putting things right."

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert
I never really buy into the bookmakers' favourite; it doesn't wash with me

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert

Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd told BBC Scotland that the club should recruit an experienced manager to succeed Mowbray.

Boyd conceded that Lennon could force himself into the reckoning with a winning run, but he expects the club to go for "someone who's been over the course before".

'I'm not sure if Mark Hughes is experienced enough at this kind of level. I know he's been down in England in the Premier League and did well with Blackburn," Boyd said.

"He did okay with Man City but he had plenty of money to spend there. I certainly don't think he'd get that kind of money if he came up here.

"I'm certainly looking forward to seeing who is going to come in and I don't think the board will be in too much of a rush."

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert cooled speculation linking him with a return to his former club.

"I can't stop people from saying things but I love it here," said Lambert.

"It's been great. As I said before, Celtic are a terrific football club and I had eight great years there.

"But I'm happy here, that's for sure. I never really buy into the bookmakers' favourite; it doesn't wash with me. I just do my job."



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see also
McGhee not interested in Celtic
26 Mar 10 |  Aberdeen
Killie aim to spoil Lennon's day
27 Mar 10 |  Kilmarnock
Celtic 3-1 Kilmarnock
27 Mar 10 |  Scottish Premier
Chick Young's view
26 Mar 10 |  Scottish Premier
Smith unfazed by Mowbray comments
26 Mar 10 |  Rangers
Mowbray pays for attacking instinct
25 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Former Celts' support for Mowbray
25 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Mowbray's Celtic reign in pictures
25 Mar 10 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic sack manager Tony Mowbray
25 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Under-fire Mowbray accepts blame
25 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Improve or leave Celtic - Mowbray
22 Oct 09 |  Europe
Celtic challenge excites Mowbray
17 Jun 09 |  Celtic
Mowbray confirmed as Celtic boss
16 Jun 09 |  Celtic


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