Threats leave ‘bad taste’ for Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has described the past week as his ‘most difficult week in the job’.Lennon, 39, received parcel bombs in the build-up to Sunday’s Old Firm derby against arch-rivals Rangers, in a match that could decide where the Scottish Premier League title ends up this season.

The parcels are being investigated by the Strathclyde Police and Lennon said it had been a tough week for him.

“It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but I’m totally committed to the club, the fans and the players,” Lennon said.

“It’s my most difficult week in the job. We all know why it’s happening.”

Lennon alluded to the wider problem of bigotry in Scotland, which has reared its head in recent times with Rangers being hit with a number of charges by UEFA after sectarian chants were sung by their fans throughout the home and away legs of a Europa League clash with PSV Eindhoven.

Players and coaches of both sides have also clashed heatedly in Old Firm matches this season.

Lennon, a known Catholic, believes the problem would not have happened if he was manager of a different club to Celtic.

“It wouldn’t, no,” he said.

“And it’s not because it’s my aggressive behaviour on the pitch any more. A lot was said about that when I played and I think you all know the reasons why these things are happening now.”

“It’s good that people are talking about it and we will get something done about it.”

Lennon retired from international football for Northern Ireland after he received a death threat, believed to be from loyalist paramilitaries.

Bullets were sent to the Celtic manager this season, while he also had another suspicious package addressed to him intercepted.

Lennon had a police escort for Wednesday’s win over Kilmarnock, but he will not walk away from the job at the Scottish giants.

“I think it is pretty unprecedented what has happened and I hope it is not going to get out of hand,” he said.

“It is disconcerting and uncomfortable, but I am well looked after by the people in charge and there is an ongoing investigation so I don’t want to comment too much on that.”

“I’ve had this for 10 years, but I don’t want to say you get used to it, because you never do.”