John Kennedy will take interim charge of Celtic for the first time on Saturday against Aberdeen after Neil Lennon’s resignation; Kennedy: “This has never been about me … the only thing that matters to me is doing the right thing for the club”
John Kennedy has insisted he is focused only on turning around Celtic’s on-pitch fortunes and not about whether his stint as caretaker manager could lead to a permanent position.
The 37-year-old will take interim charge for the first time on Saturday when Celtic host Aberdeen, days after manager Neil Lennon resigned.
However, Kennedy has brushed aside suggestions he could take the job on a permanent basis beyond this season and says his immediate focus is on turning the club’s fortunes around.
“This has never been about me – even these few days,” Kennedy said. “I am a guy who has been here a long time, been in several positions, always applied myself and given everything I possibly can.
“For me personally I have no interest in looking beyond this period of time in terms of what is in store for me. It does not matter to me at the moment, the only thing that matters to me is doing the right thing for the club.
“I just want to guide them through this period, with all their help, to maximise what is left and try and get us back to what I know we can be.
“Naturally with bad results and pressure there can be a cloud on the training ground. We will try and lift that and let the sun come through a little bit.”
It promises to be a period of upheaval at Celtic Park with chief executive Peter Lawwell announcing last month he will step aside at the end of the campaign and Dominic McKay will replace him.
Those announcements have coincided with what has been a difficult season for Celtic who sit in second, 18 points adrift of unbeaten leaders Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table.
Kennedy made reference to the disappointment felt within the dressing room at how the season has gone but is confident the club can move forward again.
“Unfortunately this season has not worked out the way that everyone wanted, and he (Neil Lennon) recognises that as we all do, and he has faced up to that.
“We find ourselves in a position now where I have had to step in for the time being and try and move forward again.”
‘Not right time for player-coach role’
Celtic captain Scott Brown says he still has plenty to offer on the pitch after dismissing suggestions he might have been offered a player-coach role under Kennedy.
The 35-year-old, who first joined the club from Hibernian in 2007, is working towards a future in coaching but believes now is not the time to combine both roles.
“I am doing my coaching badges, I am learning from John (Kennedy) quite a lot and other managers too, but now is not the right time for me to be jumping into becoming a player-coach, or a coach,” Brown said.
“I think I have still got a lot to offer on the field, within the lads and on the training ground as well.”