Neil Lennon steps down as Celtic boss
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Neil Lennon steps down as Celtic boss

NEIL LENNON has resigned as Celtic manager following an abysmal run of form which has left them 18 points behind league-leaders Rangers.

Celtic confirmed the Northern Irishman's resignation on Wednesday morning in an announcement to the Stock Exchange, with assistant boss John Kennedy to take interim charge of the first team.

The Glasgow club's quest for a tenth successive title is all but over, with arch-rivals Rangers on the brink of being crowned champions - an almost unthinkable feat nine years ago when the club was liquidated and plunged into the Scottish fourth tier.

Celtic's defeat to Ross County on Sunday left Steven Gerrard's side just seven points away from the title, and change - it seems - for the Hoops was inevitably coming.

Following his decision to step away, Lennon said in a statement: "We have experienced a difficult season due to so many factors and, of course, it is very frustrating and disappointing that we have not been able to hit the same heights as we did previously.

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"I have worked as hard as ever to try and turn things around, but unfortunately we have not managed to get the kind of run going that we have needed.

"I have always given my best to the Club and have been proud to deliver silverware to the Celtic supporters. The Club will always be part of me. I will always be a Celtic supporter myself and I will always want the best for Celtic.

"I would like to thank so many people at the Club who have given me so much and I would also like to thank my family for their love and support. I wish the Celtic supporters, players, staff and directors nothing but success for the future."

Lennon was in his second spell at Celtic Park, having previously managed the club between 2010 and 2014, guiding them to three league titles.

He returned to Celtic after fellow Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers left to take over at Leicester City in February 2019, and in spite of two more title victories and three more cup wins since then, Lennon's job has rarely seemed secure.

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Pressure had been mounting all season, particularly due to the impeccable form of Rangers, but Lennon had always maintained he would not quit.

My, how things change.