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Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 12:00 UK

Celtic to make Neil Lennon decision 'within 10 days'


Celtic fans give verdict on Lennon

Caretaker Neil Lennon expects to be told within days of Sunday's final game of the season if he has done enough to win the Celtic job permanently.

Tuesday's 2-1 victory over champions Rangers means that Lennon has led Celtic to seven straight league wins.

"I've been told, ever since I was put in charge, they wouldn't tell me until after the last game, which is Sunday against Hearts," said manager Lennon.

"So I'll know my fate over the next week or 10 days."

The 38-year-old was handed the role of interim manager after the sacking of Tony Mowbray following a 4-0 defeat by relegation-threatened St Mirren in March.

Former reserve team manager Lennon's chances of taking the job permanently were hampered by a shock 2-0 defeat by First Division side Ross County in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

We have had a great month or so. The onus on Celtic is to win every game and they have done that, certainly in the league

Interim Celtic manager Neil Lennon

But the former Celtic and Northern Ireland midfielder has overseen improved league results, which continued with a morale-boosting win over a Rangers side who had clinched the title before the end of April.

"I've relished it and it's been a great honour to do it," Lennon told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Whether I get the job or not, what I've done is prove a lot to myself that I can do management.

"You never know when you are ready for it.

"We have been under immense pressure here, as you always are - the expectations levels are so high.

"But we have had a great month or so. The onus on Celtic is to win every game and they have done that, certainly in the league."

During Lennon's reign, speculation has been rife about possible candidates for the job should Celtic's board decide he has not done enough to win the job permanently.

Scotland coach Craig Levein and Southampton manager Alan Pardew have both refused to comment about stories linking them to the post in Glasgow's East End.

Meanwhile, former Netherlands, Barcelona, Ajax, Benfica and Valencia coach Ronald Koeman, sacked in December by AZ Alkmaar, said it was one that might interest him.

"I haven't been happy with the speculation," Lennon told the media immediately after Tuesday's game.

"I understand you have a job to do, but it is difficult enough to prepare for an Old Firm game.

"You have all the names thrown in and I'm led to believe it is total nonsense really.

"Don't ask me if a decision has been made. I will reiterate, they have made it clear to me that nothing will be done until the end of the season."

Lee Naylor's deflected free-kick gave Celtic an early lead and, although Kenny Miller equalised, Marc-Antoine Fortune's instant reply gave Celtic a 2-1 half-time lead that they protected until the final whistle.

A feisty Lennon afterwards said Walter Smith should mind his own business after the Rangers boss had questioned the professionalism of the Celtic players during Mowbray's failed reign and the interim boss described the win as "immensely satisfying".

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see also
Wilson ponders future with Celtic
05 May 10 |  Celtic
Old Firm win gives Lennon relief
04 May 10 |  Celtic
Smith challenges Hinkel's claims
04 May 10 |  Rangers
Celtic 2-1 Rangers
04 May 10 |  Scottish Premier
Lennon wants big-money signings
01 May 10 |  Celtic

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