Neil Lennon has received the backing of his friend and former assistant manager Johan Mjallby as the ex-Celtic defender insists that the Celtic manager will thrive under the current pressure.
Johan Mjallby, will stake his claim to helping the club earn their first few titles of nine in a row with a possible ten pending.
The former Sweden international has stated that Lennon will never give in to any sort of pressure as it comes with the job of being a Celtic player and manager.
The ex-Celtic defender also knows first hand that the Northern Irishman would not want to be anywhere else than at Parkhead as he breathes the green and white Hoops, its in his D.N.A.
Mjallby, claims that Lennon doesn’t have issues with his tactics but rather than modern day players who require more guidance than when they both played professional football.
However, he also admits that’s not passing the blame it is just the way football is nowadays.
Johan Mjallby speaks on the Celtic Huddle Podcast:
“I was impressed when I worked with him. He’s been through a lot in his playing and management career at Celtic.
“Of course I have sympathy with him because he is under enormous pressure and has such a heavy workload.
“But on the other hand, there is no other place Neil Lennon would rather be.
“He breathes Celtic. I think he loves this challenge, I really do.
“It’s a chance to make history.”
“I think he works more tactically now than he used to. He knows today’s generation really need to be pinpointed what to do.
“They don’t want any responsibility. That’s not a criticism, that’s just they way it is.
“They need to be told exactly what to do. It’s a bit new to Neil but he learns and takes it on. He’s certainly not a dinosaur.
“The years I worked with him, he was tactically spot on.
“He had a lot of great ideas he didn’t always use, but was great during games, whether it was attack or defence.”
He said: “That (criticism) is the way it is at Celtic. Nowadays people think being a manager is like the PlayStation.
“That’s not how it is. You have a gameplan but when you cross the white line the players need to gear themselves and perform.
“They know what to do. I know the club is handicapped by having no supporters but you need to show the badge means something to you.
“I think it does affect them. When you get used to it, it’s the best place in the world.
“Some players don’t love it when the pressure is on, it can be like a boiler, you need to win things or you won’t be long lived.
“You can see they miss the supporters. Every game I have watched has been like practise games, and I am sure some players have the same feeling I have.”
The big Swede also explains that Scott Brown is the only leader in the squad and if he fails to perform there are no other players who will step in and lead the team, that would be an issue for Neil.
Scott Brown could be rested now and then but ultimately the captain must play, besides he’s one of the fittest players in the league with 21 trophies behind him as proof.
He said: “I am a big fan of Scott Brown, he is very important and he still has a lot to give.
“He’s a big leader in the dressing room and on the pitch. I don’t see too many recognised leaders in this team, and that is going to be important in a season like this when they are trying to make history.
“If he loses his form and doesn’t perform as well as he normally does then Neil has something to think about.
“But I think Neil has been right to back his skipper because they don’t have too many leaders there.
“You can rest him now and again, but he’s one of the fittest players around.”
Shane Duffy was also brought to Johan’s attention in which he had this to say:
“Duffy has a lot of good qualities, he’s a leader at the back, he’s good in the air and physically strong.
“Sometimes domestically the game won’t suit him because Shane will be at his best when they sit a bit deeper.
“At home they will get forward and have the ball a lot.
“That’s the tricky thing. When you are a defender at Celtic you are expected to be attack minded, but you also have to be on your toes to defend the counter attack.
“Performance-wise Celtic haven’t been as strong as they were at the end of last season.
“There’s no need to panic yet. Yes I can see we are way too open defensively and the balance is not really right all of the time.
“But at the same time, a lot of the really strong players, like Odsonne Edouard and Chris Jullien, have had their problems and not been in the team all season.
“We need to give it a bit of time.”
If Celtic fans ever wanted to know what Lennon is like behind the scenes, then there’s nobody better than Johan Mjallby, the man who helped his former club begin this historic quest.
Just maybe, Neil Lennon will get us back on track for glory.