Celtic’s interim manager John Kennedy has admitted the pressure of trying to win a tenth consecutive title may have been a factor in the club’s troubled season.
Neil Lennon left his job as Celtic manager earlier this week after a defeat to Ross County left the side trailing Rangers by 18 points in the league and with the Ibrox side set to end their Celtic’s iron grip on the league trophy.
Celtic were dumped out of the league cup and suffered bruising defeats in Europe during what has been a troubled season for a team that had surged from success to success in the past few years.
Kennedy said that the “hype” around winning a record-breaking ten titles in a row had already built too much pressure before the campaign had even begun.
“Looking back at it now it could be one the reasons,” he said. It is one you will probably never know the answer to.
“At a club like this there is always pressure. I think with the 10 thing it got hyped and there was greater pressure.
“When you get over emotional you make bad decisions and I think we have seen that in games and in some performances where there was too much emotion involved.
“It has been a very emotional season. Even before the season started you could feel the intensity and probably over the last couple of seasons, all you could hear was 10, 10, 10.
“Ultimately, that was the objective, to win the league and make it 10 but we have just got to park that, strip it back, get clarity, play with clear minds and understand what makes us good and try to do that.”
The assistant coach will now take charge of the first team until a new manager is appointed but he says his time in the dugout, beginning with the match against Aberdeen this weekend, shouldn’t be seen as an audition to land the job on a permanent basis.
“No, not at all,” he said. “This has never been about me.
“I am a guy who has been here a long time in several positions, always applied myself and given everything I possibly can and I have no interest in looking beyond this period of time in terms of what is in store for me.
“It doesn’t matter to me at the moment, the only thing that matters to me is doing the right thing for the club.
“I am not interested in anything other than Saturday and then next week. The club will look at it themselves.
“It is not about me, it is not about me and my future and where do I see myself.
“This is my first half-opportunity if you call it that to take charge but this isn’t about me, it’s about everybody collectively doing their jobs.
“I will come in, I will still coach and work as hard as I can and at the same time give the guidance from the front and then deal with each day as it comes.”