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LENNY’S PLEA TO CELTIC FANS

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NEIL LENNON has asked the Celtic fans to remember what Brendan Rodgers achieved at the club since his arrival in May 2016.

As the interim Hoops manager prepared for tonight’s Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibs at Easter Road, he urged the support to tone down their criticism.

Lennon has seen the furious backlash from the champions’ followers at Rodgers’ shock departure on Tuesday with the team within touching distance of the treble treble.

The Irishman is determined to see the Celts over the line with the possibly of three Cup-ties to play on the way to the club achieving a historic hat-trick.

And he kicked off 11 vital Premiership encounters with a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 midweek triumph over Hearts at Tynecastle – a venue where the Hoops squandered three points earlier in the season – to maintain an eight-point advantage at the top of the table with 10 now to play.

OLD PALS’ ACT…Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers embrace before Hibs’ 2-0 win in December.

Lennon, who admitted he has exchanged text messages with the new Leicester City boss, hopes time will be a great healer in the rift between Rodgers and the fans who once worshipped him before his sudden exit for the mid-table Midlands outfit.

The 47-year-old caretaker gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “There is a lot of emotion, a lot of spontaneous reaction.

“You can understand the soreness, but what we have to remember is what he did for the club and the legacy he has left.

“When people take a step back and look in the cold light of day, he is up there with the greatest with what he has brought to the club in terms of success and enjoyment.

“I understand there is agitation there. But from a personal point of view, I wish him all the very best because I know him very well.

“And I know the club do, as well. We have to move on now.

“Will time heal it? Of course. It’s all very sudden and that suddenness has made people react in the way they have.

“The timing might not have been perfect, but he has made a career decision and it has to be respected.

“It’s not forgotten what he has done here. They had incredible days and really really good memories.

”We texted each other the other day and I will give him a call when things settle down. It will be hectic for him, as well.

“He has just been unveiled and he is probably preparing for a game.

HERO’S RETURN…Neil Lennon enjoys Celtic’s late win at Hearts in midweek.

“He will be getting to know the staff, getting to know the players, looking for a house, all that type of stuff.

“He will be up to his neck in it I’m sure. But we did communicate with each other on Wednesday afternoon, which was great.

“He wished me the best and vice-versa.”

Lennon took training at Lennoxtown yesterday and added: “You don’t want to do too much with them because of the fatigue factor from Wednesday.

“But they’re a really good bunch and it must be difficult for them, having had such a huge influential figure like Brendan around and then all of a sudden that’s gone.

“You’re looking for a little bit of a comedown and it might come eventually, but, hopefully, we can buy the time between the Hibs and Aberdeen games for that to happen.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Hibs v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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