Gordon Strachan states that Neil Lennon has revitalised his career as a manager by securing Celtic’s ninth title in a row.
The former Celtic manager has praised Lennon’s fighting spirit as many people thought his managerial career was over after Lennon’s poor spell as Bolton gaffer.
Even though there were some doubters and still are, Lennon was indeed the right choice to replace Brendan Rodgers after his swift exit.
Lennon had the huge task of picking up the mental pieces of the Celtic squad after their manager deserted them and even though Lennon was plagued with fitness issues and injuries, he managed to bring home the glory.
“When he first came back it wasn’t unanimous,” said Strachan.
“There were a lot of doubters. He would also have been thinking, ‘If I take this job and fail, that’s me finished.’
“He then had to deal with this problem of ‘Am I going to lose nine in a row?’ It was an edgy time at new year. He’s dusted himself down with his players and come back and blown the opposition away.
“So that shows he has mental strength, intelligence, he can deal with anything.”
“The fact he’s left Celtic and went, ‘Oops, what have I done?’ He’s had to deal with that, go to Bolton. And I know when you go to teams like Bolton after being at Celtic, you just don’t get the mentality.
“Then he went to Hibs and has come away with formations that suited the players he had. It was fantastic what he did there.
“He’s reinvented himself as a manager. And that period at Hibs allowed him to express himself more freely.”
Strachan believes he is a “worthy” recipient.
He said: “He’s come back to Celtic and said, ‘Well done, Brendan, that’s fantastic. But I need to watch football that I really want to watch.’
“Neil had to do his own thing, and tweak what Brendan was doing without anyone really noticing.
“Neil and Celtic are made for each other. It’s only right he gets it [manager of the year], for a multitude of reasons.”