NEIL LENNON wished John Kennedy and the Celtic players the best of luck before the 1-0 victory over Aberdeen at Parkhead yesterday.
It was a touch of class from the former manager who departed the champions only two days after the 1-0 nosedive against Ross County in Dingwall last weekend.
Lennon’s reign came to an end almost exactly two years since answering the club’s SOS to take over from Brendan Rodgers after his sudden exit to join Leicester City.
Kennedy revealed his old gaffer had been in touch to pass on his regards to the team in the build-up to the encounter against the Pittodrie club.
The interim boss said: “I’ve spoken to Neil a couple of times now. He’s fine, he’s at home and it’s a difficult time for him and his family.
“The club means so much to him and he’s given so much to Celtic.
“He’s dealing with that and he sent his best regards to the staff and the players this morning.”
MATCHWINNER…Odsonne Edouard hammers the ball goalwards.
HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Odsonne Edouard celebrates with Callum McGregor with the unfortunate Tommie Hoban in the background.
Kennedy got on with taking care of business after being told he would be in charge for the next eight league games while a decision is expected from the SFA tomorrow to determine if the Scottish Cup will continue this season.
A deflected shot in the eighth minute from Odsonne Edouard – his 21st goal of the season and ninth in nine games – saw the Hoops over the line in a match where they squandered several chances to put the encounter to bed.
Returning frontman Patryk Klimala had the best opportunity of the lot in the first-half when he was presented with the ball smack in front of goal after a precision right-wing pass from Jonjoe Kenny. Inexplicably, the Pole screwed a horrible effort wide of Joe Lewis’ right-hand post.
Callum McGregor didn’t do much better in the fading moments when Kenny set him up on the edge of the box, but the midfielder blazed waywardly off target.
OOPS…Patryk Klimala screws the ball wide smack in front of goal.
SIT-DOWN STRIKER…Klimala looks aghast as Joe Lewis is relieved.
Kennedy said: “The first-half was good for us. But in the second-half we lost our way a little bit. When Aberdeen put pressure on, we got stressed and flustered. We gave the ball away cheaply at times.
“We lacked a bit of discipline in terms of being calm and clear in our minds. In terms of how we saw the game out, that was pleasing.
“It feels like we’ve been in that situation so many times this season at 1-0 and we concede. You could see that in the players, that subconscious thing in their minds.
“You must still have belief at 1-0 to keep doing the right things and that will take you to 2-0.
“That’s something we’ve got to work on psychologically. That’s because of our experiences this year so far. “But we have to park that and get rid of it. That will come with results and confidence. It’s about trusting in what we’re doing and in each other.”
OFF TARGET…Callum McGregor blasts wide late in the game.
OH NO…Callum McGregor doesn’t look too impressed with his effort.
Kennedy, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “At times this season, it’s always been in the back of our mind that we’ll concede.
“But getting through that on this occasion should lead to better performances. It’s something we’re aware of.
“They put their bodies on the line at the end just to get a result – that will do them the world of good.”
Kennedy will take the faltering champions to face Dundee United at Tannadice at noon a week today for his next challenge.