herald

Tuesday 18 September 2018

'Martin will show who is boss' – Lennon

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.
Celtic Manager Neil Lennon. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

NEIL LENNON believes that Roy Keane will increasingly take a back seat as Martin O'Neill's puts his stamp on the Ireland team.

The former Sunderland and Ipswich boss received as much attention as O'Neill in the build-up to the 3-0 win over Latvia after a two-year exile from management.

With the introductions over, O'Neill has to plot a route to the European Championships in France with Lennon understanding better than most how his former boss operates.

"Because of the personality of Roy and the aura he has in the game everyone was looking at him last week," the Celtic boss said. "But I think that will have to die away a little bit. Once the hoo-ha is over Martin will take full control.

Presence

"Roy is an interesting appointment; I didn't see that one coming. Martin worked with John Robertson and Steve Walford for a long time, Roy has a vast knowledge of the game and I think his presence will lift the players.

"I think that Roy will learn from Martin, he's been given that opportunity. I'm sure that he'll have input into tactics and team selection but ultimately I think that it's pretty clear that Martin is the manager.

"Roy's job is to assist while picking up a lot of things along the way, I think it will be great for Roy. Martin has a fantastic personality, one that the players will enjoy working under."

As well as working with O'Neill for almost a decade at Celtic and Leicester, Lennon played alongside Keane during the Corkman's brief spell at Celtic after falling out with Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

The two icons worked well under Gordon Strachan with Lennon revealing that he was given an opportunity to play under Keane at Sunderland.

"There was an offer from Roy for me during my final season at Celtic," Lennon explained. "It was something I looked at, I enjoyed his time at Celtic, it was great playing with him, we were quite similar in personality and the way that we played.

Impact

"For me he was one of the best players of his generation. When he walks into a dressing room he has an impact on players.

"I think he did a good job at Sunderland, he got them up to the Premiership and kept them there for a year. Things didn't go well for him at Ipswich but that can happen to anyone."

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