Kenny Dalglish says Celtic manager Neil Lennon "has credit in the bank - and it's not historical, it's present day"

It isn’t Neil Lennon’s sterling service to Celtic across nearly 20 years that has Kenny Dalglish believing detractors really need to cool their jets when claiming three games without a win place the Irishman in firing territory.

Scotland great Kenny Dalglish says no-one needs get "over-enthusiastic" about replacing Neil Lennon  at Celtic despite recent "concerns" (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)
Scotland great Kenny Dalglish says no-one needs get "over-enthusiastic" about replacing Neil Lennon at Celtic despite recent "concerns" (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)

It is what he has achieved in the 20 months since his Celtic return that leaves the Scottish football icon questioning rash judgments on the Celtic manager’s suitability for the club’s 10-in-row title quest. Or even the week ahead, when the club travel to Lille in the Europa League on Thursday before they will attempt to move within a victory of a quadruple treble in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen.

‘Lenny has got credit in the bank and it’s not historical – it’s present day,” said Dalglish. ‘He has a 77% win rate since he came back [in February 2019] and had a fantastic record over the four years he was here before. So it might be a crisis for some people [that they lost to Rangers and AC Milan before drawing with Aberdeen] but I don’t think for the football club, although there will be huge disappointment that they haven’t won the games. You’ve got to take into account the players he had available and the ones he had missing.

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

‘There will be concern. But there’s concern when you lose the toss of the coin at Celtic. That’s the level they play at and that’s what they are up against. But I don’t hint that concern will lead to any drastic measures. Lenny will be there for a long time. Last year at the winter break Rangers were top of the league, and Lenny went on and won the league, won the Betfred as well, and the third trophy from last year is what they’re playing for on Sunday. It doesn’t look to me like there’s much need for anybody to be over-enthusiastic and try to get rid of somebody. It’s never pleasant to lose an Old Firm game. Everybody knows what they are aiming for, but it won’t be decided until next year who wins what.

“The 10 is hugely important to a lot of people, but winning games is hugely important as well. They lost the Old Firm game last year at the turn of the year and they caught it up. What reasons are there to say that Celtic can’t improve to get back alongside Rangers again? At the end of the day, Rangers have improved. Steven {Gerrard] has done a fantastic job there. He’s got them a lot better than what they were since he came in, but Celtic are still formidable. It will be interesting to see when Rangers pick up a few injuries how their results go as well. So far, the ones that have come in for Celtic haven’t done well enough. To try and compensate for having five or six players out is very difficult, especially when it’s players who would normally be in your first team. I think Lenny will be given a bit of grace, and deservedly so.”

Kenny Dalglish was speaking to promote Premier Sports coverage of the Scottish Cup Semi-Final match Celtic v Aberdeen live and exclusive from 2pm on Sunday. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player. Prices start from £9.99 per month.