Stiliyan Petrov has told the Evening Times that he believes Celtic have got to give the permanent job to Neil Lennon, despite Celtic fans growing dissatisfied with the interim manager.
Celtic have remained unbeaten in the seven matches Lennon has been in the dugout. However, the Scottish champions have scored just nine goals in seven games.
Fans believe the side is becoming passive under Lennon. Some were concerned with the performance against a 10-man Rangers in the Old Firm derby, which saw the Gers almost snatch a point or more.
But former Celtic midfielder Petrov, who played alongside Lennon in green and white, believes Lennon deserves credit for “sustaining the club” in the face of a potential crisis following Brendan Rodgers’ exit.
“He is a winner,” said Petrov. “I think you have to look at the way he took the job. How many people would have wanted to step into Brendan’s shoes? Those would have felt like pretty shoes to fill.
“So the very fact that he went straight in and took it at a very difficult time for the club tells you so much about him. There is always going to some division within the support.
“I don’t know who else would better him in terms of understanding the club and understanding the pressures around it. He sustained the club when the season was in danger of collapsing.”
The Celtic board must make a judgement call before appointing Lennon. Have Celtic dropped off the boil because of the former Hibernian and Bolton Wanderers manager?
Or is it, perhaps more likely, that the Scottish Premiership title is already sewn up. The Hoops are just inches away from an eighth consecutive title. With just five games left, Celtic are 11 ahead.
That is much better explanation for the reason Celtic have become passive. With the League Cup won, the league title almost in the bag – perhaps his future comes down to the Scottish Cup final result.