Robbie Keane has packed his bags and left Glasgow Celtic, but not before mounting a campaign for Neil Lennon to get the Parkhead manager’s job.
Lennon is still of the belief that he will be appointed as Tony Mowbray’s successor this week, and has even started to draw up a list of summer transfer targets.
Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies and former Dundee United boss Ivan Golac are the latest candidates to talk publicly about their interest in the vacancy.
But Keane’s decision to endorse Lennon’s credentials will be seen as a major boost for the former Northern Ireland and Celtic captain.
“I really hope that Lenny gets the job,” Keane told Huddle Online. “He has all the attributes to be a great manager.
“He is very vocal and knows his football and one thing he has is a passion for this club. I personally hope he gets it.”
Keane was a huge hit for Lennon during his eight game unbeaten league run as Celtic’s interim manager, and not even the ignominy of their Scottish Cup defeat to Ross County could dampen the Ireland captain’s enthusiasm for the club.
The Spurs striker, already attracting interest from Sunderland and Aston Villa after his loan deal in Glasgow expired, returned to London with awards in the bag and praise ringing in his ears.
An impressive 16 goals in 19 games won the hearts of the Celtic fans and Keane was happy with his four month’s work.
Keane said, “It’s been a strange season for the club but this is something I have always wanted to do and I’ll never regret it.
“I have no regrets in football and I’ve loved my time here. From a personal point of view, I’ve scored a lot of goals and I’ll look back with a lot of fond memories.”
The Celtic board, meanwhile, have apologized to the fans for the campaign that saw Mowbray sacked midway through his first term in charge as Rangers ran away with the Scottish title.
The apology came in a letter to all season ticket holders from Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, who has “sincerely apologised” to supporters for an “unacceptable” season.
Lawwell wrote: “This season has been one of the most difficult we have experienced in recent years,” he said.
Celtic have frozen season ticket prices in a bid to keep the fans onside and Lawwell added, “Our illustrious history has had many highs and lows. We must now move on.”
Celtic will go into the Champions League qualifiers at the start of next season when they could meet Fenerbahce,
Zenit St. Petersburg, Ajax or Dinamo Kiev.
World Cup bound Greece striker Georgios Samaras has insisted he wants to stay with Celtic despite interest from Italian side Palermo.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore