Kenny Dalglish has told the Sunday Post that Neil Lennon will be in “pole position” if he can deliver an eighth successive title at Celtic come May.
Lennon, 47, has been given the role until the end of the season after Brendan Rodgers made the surprise decision to leave and join English Premier League side Leicester City.
The former midfielder – who played for the Hoops for seven years as a player between 2000 and 2007 – started the consecutive run of seven Scottish Premiership titles as manager with the first three league titles, starting in 2011-12.
Dalglish reckons if Lennon can maintain Celtic’s lead and earn an eighth successive Scottish Premiership title, he will be the likeliest candidate to replace Rodgers in the long term.
“Whether Neil lands the job on a permanent basis remains to be seen,” Dalglish said. “But winning the title will put him in pole position, I would imagine.
“He started off the current run of league successes by leading the club to three successive league titles. Many would feel it would fitting for him to be at the helm as they go for eight and beyond.”
Dalglish is bang on. Lennon endured a difficult, finance-stricken spell at Bolton but rejuvenated his career at Hibernian. Even though he may be below the calibre Celtic fans want, he is the perfect candidate.
Celtic are not going to get a manager of Brendan Rodgers’ quality and stature. Fans need to realise that. So having a manager that knows the club, knows how to achieve success and can manage fans’ expectation is crucial.
Lennon is that man.