NEIL LENNON has been involved in bringing five of Celtic’s titles in their nine-in-a-row sequence.
He kicked-started the current glorious run and is now bidding for a historic tenth successive crown.
Another test awaits the gritty Irishman at Pittodrie this afternoon when they take on Derek McInnes’ determined Aberdeen outfit in the High Noon showdown.
And Lennon has revealed he has just endured some of his most testing times in management following disappointing back-to-back losses against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side and AC Milan, both at Parkhead.
The Hoops boss, speaking to the Scottish Sun on Sunday, said: “It’s been one of the hardest weeks I’ve had as a manager.
“The international break was really tough because we were getting one call-off after another.
“We didn’t get the players together until last Friday and had to try and prepare them for a huge game. Off the back of that, we had to play a really good side in AC Milan.
“I cope with things totally differently now, 100 per cent. I deal with it better.
“I wouldn’t say I’m more philosophical about it, but I take a step out and look in. I understand there are mitigating circumstances.
“Of course, there are things I want to do better myself. And I want the players to do better.
“But I don’t take it as badly or as personal as I used to. That doesn’t mean I don’t care. Obviously, I do.
“But I don’t get caught in the knee-jerk reactions and stuff like that. It’s not productive.
“Sometimes I question myself. I ask: ‘Do you care enough?’. But, of course, I do. I just handle it with a far more measured approach.
“It would be a mistake for people to think I’ve not got the same fire in my belly that I had before.
“I have it more than ever, especially when my back’s against the wall.”
Lennon added: “I’m not convinced being more animated in the dug-out would work with this generation of players.
“I have changed my demeanour and I think it has worked.
“People over-analyse things. My touchline behaviour isn’t going to make them play better or worse. I’m used to the way my team works.
“I still get a bit animated, but I don’t want to permeate any anxiety over to the players.
“When things don’t go for me or the team, we get analysed. Every nuance is scrutinised to death.
“But I’m not convinced that’s the way forward.”
Lennon and his players copped flak last week after their particularly feeble and dismal display against their Govan visitors where they contrived to go through the entire 90 minutes without a solitary shot on target.
They are four points adrift with a game in hand and Lennon and the team go into the spotlight again against Aberdeen where there is no hiding place in a crunch confrontation.
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