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Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 17:12 UK

Alan Thompson back at Celtic as first team coach


Thompson thrilled to be back at Celtic

Alan Thompson aims to bring a winning mentality to Celtic now manager Neil Lennon has made him first team coach.

The 36-year-old recently left his post at Newcastle, where he had been in charge of the reserve side.

"We're people who were used to winning games and trophies during our careers, so that's what we've got to try and instil in the squad," said Thompson.

"I'm over the moon to be back, I thoroughly enjoyed my six and a half years here."

Thompson won four Scottish Premier League titles as a player with Celtic between 2000-07.

The former midfielder, who also had spells with Bolton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Leeds United, was capped once for England and featured in Celtic's run to the Uefa Cup final against Porto in 2003.

The appointment of Lennon, Thompson - and potentially Johan Mjallby, who acted as assistant during Lennon's interim period in charge - could be viewed as a risky strategy on the part of Celtic's board, with all three almost completely inexperienced at the top level of football management.

However, Thompson believes their combined credentials as former players at the highest level with the club should stand them in good stead as coaches.


"If you compare Neil, Johan and myself - maybe we're not experienced in the management game, but we certainly have playing experience," said Thompson.

"Winning mentality is a way of putting it - and that'll be Neil's job along with us to, to get the mentality right to win games.

"It's always going to be difficult against a vastly experienced manager like (Rangers boss) Walter Smith, and we're fairly inexperienced compared to him.

"It's a huge task, but it's one that we're all up for - and there's no point in coming in if we don't believe we can do it."

Thompson has spent the last two years as academy coach and working with the reserves at St James' Park but said it was not a difficult decision to leave.

"Not really," he explained. "As soon as Neil made me aware of the position, it was one that I couldn't refuse.

"He didn't have to sell it to me, I know what the place is like.

"I know what it's like to win titles here and, if we can do that and get the supporters back through the turnstiles and get the stadium full, that will be a success.

"I always wanted to come back here. I knew I wanted to go into the coaching side and I always had an ambition to return here.

"It's come a little bit earlier than I thought it would but I still believe I can do the job and I'm looking forward to doing it."

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see also
Thompson clear for role at Celtic
04 Jun 10 |  Celtic

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