hearts manager backs celtic’s neil lennon

15:00    18 May 2019

Hearts manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein has backed his Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon to be given the job at Parkhead on a permanent basis.

Lennon is currently in charge of the Glasgow giants on an interim basis, having replaced Brendan Rodgers (who left for Leicester City) earlier this year.

“Neil has done a really good job for Celtic. And, if you look at his longevity, he was there for a long time as a player, and was very successful,” said Levein.
“This is his second spell as a manager and, again, he has been very successful.”

Celtic will host Hearts in a Scottish Premiership clash tomorrow (live on Fox Sports 1 from 15h55 CAT) in a dress rehearsal for the Scottish FA Cup next Saturday.

Read: Lennon lauds Celtic’s modern-day great Scott Brown

The Hearts boss added, “I think it’s just the way the game is. People expect the best – or above. We all know that and this isn’t a job to do if you are prepared to lower your sights at any point.

“It all depends on the outcomes. Neil has got his own pressures to deal with. Ours might be slightly different in that, unfortunately, we’re not going for the treble treble. And we’re not often in cup finals. So, for us, there’s an air of excitement attached to it, rather than pressure.”

Levein’s men will form a guard of honour at Celtic Park tomorrow, showing due respect to a team who have wrapped up their eighth successive Premiership title.

However, the Hearts boss hopes that is where the deference ends, as they look to send a message ahead of next weekend’s Cup final.

“It is a bit strange. My main focus has obviously been on the final,” said Levein. “So that has really shaped my thoughts for this game. I don’t want to be sitting on Monday morning with any injuries and I’m sure Celtic will be the same.

“We’re going to have some younger players involved because, when I look at it, the benefits to them are obvious. There are older guys who will benefit from more training time and one less game. But the young players will benefit from playing in this atmosphere, so it makes sense.”

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