“I always felt the Champions League was the competition to be in and I wasn’t sure we would be able to do that again with the squad of players that we had.
“So, it was time to go. Four years was a good stint at it.
“Do I regret it? No. Would I go back? Yes, eventually. I was there for 14 years, I have such a great affinity with the club. In some capacity, I would like to be around the club again at some stage in my career.”
As a manager, Lennon won three successive league titles and two Scottish Cups and, as a player, he picked up 10 trophies after his long-term mentor Martin O’Neill lured him from Leicester City in a £6million deal in December 2000.
The 44-year-old former Northern Ireland skipper was appointed boss when Tony Mowbray was sacked after only 10 months in charge in March 2010.
Lennon is now experiencing turbulence with crisis-stricken Bolton in the Championship after taking over in December 2014. His mood wasn’t helped by yesterday’s 2-1 loss at home against Burnley that kept his side anchored at joint bottom of the league alongside Charlton.
He admitted: “If I had known about the situation with the owner, I would have had serious reservations about taking it on.
“I knew there was a big debt, but I knew it was the owner’s debt and he was prepared to write it off.
“What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t going to be given the chance to invest in players and the squad, as I wanted to.
“Nineteen players went out the door last summer. We cleared about £10million from the wage bill as well as bringing in £2.5million in fees.”
Lennon accepts the club’s new owners, with former player Dean Holdsworth the face of the Sport Shield Group Consortium, might want to put their own man in charge.
The ex-Hoops gaffer, however, walk away. He added: “That’s the easy thing to do.
“I’d rather see it through. I’m enjoying the challenge – that in itself is a motivation – and if we keep the team in this league, what a great achievement.
“I want the chance to rebuild because I haven’t had a chance to build anything.”
TOTAL LARSSON DVD & WINDS OF CHANGE
Order The Winds of Change from CQN Bookstore and you will receive a copy of the brilliant TOTAL LARSSON DVD absolutely free! We’ll also include a copy of Issue 3 of the magnificent CQN ANNUAL and a wee dram for you to enjoy!
All this for only £13.99 plus P&P. (Just select the WINDS OF CHANGE in Books and we will add the rest!)
ORDER NOW AT www.CQNBookstore.com