Craig Beattie has told Sky Sports that he believes Neil Lennon deserves to be given the Celtic job on a full-time basis after the Hoops defeated Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Tom Rogic ensured a 3-0 win and a place in the final, as two Aberdeen players were given their marching orders.
It has now seen Lennon take charge of eight Celtic matches since replacing Brendan Rodgers on an interim basis. He has won six of those, and drawn two against Aberdeen in the league, and also Livingston.
Former Celtic striker Beattie believes Lennon deserves to be given the role, as he has dealt with the pressure that he was under when he returned to the helm as Celtic manager – five years after leaving the post.
“He’s been under a huge amount of pressure since he’s come back in,” Beattie said. “He’s well on the way to winning the league and the League Cup is already in the bag.
“Sunday was a big match, and they’ve come through it with flying colours. That’ll done his chances of getting the job absolutely no harm whatsoever. You saw at the end of the match the passion and the love he’s got for this club.
“He’s been around the block, he’s a clever guy. He’s certainly well in contention to get the job full time.”
Prior to Sunday’s result, much had been made of how Lennon’s Celtic were lacklustre in the final third compared to Brendan Rodgers’ side. They had managed just nine goals in seven games.
But following Sunday’s result, things have changed. A huge 3-0 win – the first time Celtic have scored three since Lennon was reinstated – was just the kind of statement they needed to make.
A decision is still difficult to predict, though. Do Celtic stick with what they know, or do they chance their arm by bringing in a coach with bigger calibre and attract more players to Parkhead? Time will tell.