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Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 11:34 UK

New manager Neil Lennon wants Celtic 'to go to war'


Neil Lennon is unveiled as Celtic manager

Neil Lennon wants to "bring the thunder back" now that he has signed a one-year contract to manage Celtic.

"I want that passion and noise from the crowd and I want my players to go to war every time they go out on the pitch," said the 38-year-old.

Lennon, who would not confirm who would join his coaching staff, said he was already searching for new talent.

"I need more men in the team," he said. "I'm looking for players with experience and a better mentality."

Lennon said it was a "wonderful moment" to finally become manager of Celtic, having acted as interim boss at the tail-end of last season.

"To know that I would be in charge of the football club was a very special moment for me personally," he said.

"And I'm very proud to be walking in the footsteps of the likes of Jock Stein, Davie Hay, Tommy Burns, Martin O'Neill and others.

"But I'm ready for the challenge. I don't think anyone knows the club better than myself.


"It's our priority to challenge for the title, but we know we've got to hit the ground running."

Johan Mjallby, Alan Thompson and Garry Parker are expected to form Lennon's backroom team.

However, when pressed on the subject, Lennon said: "There will be no announcements until everything is in place.

"But there are no mixed messages. I will be making all of the decisions on the football side of things."

Stuart Baxter has been approached by the club to act in an advisory capacity to Lennon while retaining his head coach position with Finland.

All Lennon would say on Baxter was "he's a candidate, among others".

However, he reaffirmed that it would be a wise idea to have a more experienced man on hand.

"I've said before that I might need an older head to bounce ideas off.

Reid explains choice of Celtic manager

"It would be churlish to suggest I can do all of this by myself."

The former captain took charge of the team after Tony Mowbray's sacking in March, enjoying a 100% league record.

The only black mark against him was an embarrassing Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of First Division Ross County.

And despite more high-profile names such as the Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni being linked with the position, Celtic chairman John Reid insisted there was never anyone else in the frame.

"We have spoken to no one, nor offered the job to anyone, other than Neil Lennon," said Reid.

"We have appointed Neil after the most careful thought, deliberation and scrutiny.

"He faced up to the challenge at the end of the season in difficult circumstances, and he did his talking on the park."

Signed by Martin O'Neill, Lennon arrived at Celtic as a hard-tackling midfielder in 2000, winning five championship titles in seven seasons.

He returned to the club in a coaching capacity in 2008 to assist then manager Gordon Strachan.

Following Strachan's exit and Mowbray's subsequent employment last summer, Lennon was kept on but was sidelined to a role with the under-19s.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon's Celtic story

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see also
Neil Lennon's Celtic story
09 Jun 10 |  Scotland
Celtic confirm interest in Ledley
09 Jun 10 |  Cardiff
Lennon takes Celtic centre stage
08 Jun 10 |  Celtic
Celtic approach Finland's Baxter
04 Jun 10 |  Celtic
Maloney seeks to impress new boss
04 Jun 10 |  Celtic
Thompson clear for role at Celtic
04 Jun 10 |  Celtic
Lennon must pick mentor - Collins
03 Jun 10 |  Celtic
Celtic want Lennon as new manager
28 May 10 |  Celtic
Brown wants Lennon and Campbell
26 May 10 |  Celtic
Lennon can revive Celtic - Keane
24 May 10 |  Celtic
O'Neill hails job done by Lennon
21 May 10 |  Celtic
McStay backing Lennon for Celtic
20 May 10 |  Celtic

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