JOHN KENNEDY has revealed managing Celtic is his “dream job” – but the Hoops No.2 is in no rush to achieve the ambition.

The 36-year-old former club and country centre-half has dovetailed superbly with Neil Lennon since the Irishman returned to the club in February last year.

Chief executive Peter Lawwell and the club’s hierarchy had to move fast following Brendan Rodgers’ rapid departure to Leicester City.

Lennon answered the SOS and Kennedy stepped up as his assistant in a whirlwind of activity that kept the champions on course for the treble treble and, of course, they added the ninth successive title last season, as well as the Betfred League Cup.

The assistant gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I know where I want to go, but you only become Celtic manager when you’ve earned that right.

“Whether that comes in the future or not, time will tell.

“It would be a dream job, yes. Particularly, when I think of where I started out as a young boy.

“Celtic was the team I supported and from the minute I first became involved at the club as a young boy I wanted to reach the top. So, of course, it would be the dream job.

“But it’s not something I’m in a rush to do. It’s not something I’d ever take for granted. You’ve got to earn the right.

“Talk’s easy, it’s not a problem anyone saying they want to be this and that. Going out and proving yourself is a different story altogether.

“Anything I’ve ever achieved, I’ve always felt I’ve had to work for it. So, that won’t change for me.”

BACKGROUND BHOY…John Kennedy sits it out as Neil Lennon watches from the touchline.

Kennedy was linked with the Hibs job last season after Paul Hetherington was sacked, ironically only days after the Easter Road outfit were thrashed 5-2 by the Hoops in the Betfred League Cup semi-final in November. Former St Mirren and Sunderland chief Jack Ross eventually got the Edinburgh post.

Lennon’s deputy admitted: “It was flattering. It’s something I’ve never shied away from, at one point I do want to be my own man.

“But I’ve also never been in a huge rush to do that. That’s basically because I’ve looked at my position at Celtic and always felt challenged.

“I’ve made steady progression in terms of where I’ve come from, recruitment, academy and now first team.

“There’s always been a progression for me and that’s been important. I’ve worked with very good managers.

“If that stalls and things become a bit stale then I would have to review it. But I’ve never come to that point and I’m very happy in my current role.

“But at some point it’s certainly a challenge I want to take on.

“I’m approaching 37, and have had a good number of years experience, but I wouldn’t say I’m old.

“What I’ve been part of at Celtic will definitely stand me in good stead.”

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