Neil Lennon to help Celtic find his successor

Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon says he will help Celtic find his successor after announcing he is moving on to a “new challenge.”

The 42-year-old former club captain steps down having led the club to three Scottish Premiership titles during his four-year spell in charge.

Former Hoops idol Henrik Larsson has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace him, but there is backing too for fellow Parkhead old boys Malky Mackay and Paul Lambert.

And Lennon says he will now help Bhoys chief executive Peter Lawwell pick the man to replace him.

He said: “Serving the club was always a privilege. I have always given my best and aimed to do all I can to ensure success for Celtic, as a supporter it was all I wanted.

“I will now assist the club in appointing my successor. As ever, we will need our fans’ support and I am sure they will give the club and the new manager the same great backing which they gave to myself.”

But while the bookies seem convinced Larsson will be the next man to take over at ‘Paradise’, the Swede played down the suggestions.

The retired striker - now in charge of Falkenberg in his homeland - told the Daily Record: “I understand that I always will be linked with the job in Celtic after my years in the club as a player.

“Of course I can see myself as manager of Celtic and to go there in the future. But my focus now is on Falkenberg. Nothing else.”

Lennon replaced Tony Mowbray in March 2010 as caretaker after the Englishman’s disastrous reign ended with a 4-0 thumping at St Mirren.

He was given the job permanently despite losing a Scottish Cup semi-final to First Division Ross County just three games into his temporary stint in charge.

The Northern Irishman’s first full season also ended in disappointment as Rangers snatched the title but at the end of that campaign, he told the Parkhead crowd: “This is not the end, it’s just the beginning.”

Since then, Lennon’s team has reigned supreme on the domestic front with three league wins in a row.

There was success in Europe too as Lennon’s team stormed to the knock-out stages of the Champions League last year - a run that included a famous Parkhead win over Barcelona.

But the former Leicester City midfielder now looks certain for a return to England after growing frustrated at Celtic Park.