Strachan expects Lennon to stay on as Celtic manager

Gordon Strachan is backing Neil Lennon to be in the Celtic dugout when the new Scottish season kicks off in July.

The former Parkhead boss thinks the Northern Irishman is strong enough to cope with the demands of the job.

Despite the various problems that have engulfed Lennon this season, Strachan does not think Celtic should look elsewhere for a new manager.

"He's done what I expected of him, I see no reason to change," the ex-Middlesbrough manager said of Lennon.

Strachan says there should be no concern that Lennon is operating on a six-month rolling contract, and that he himself has worked under similar conditions.

"The rolling contract is perfect for a football manager," he stated. "There's no haggles, there's no messing about, and it just keeps going."

Celtic won three league championships during Strachan's tenure, and he stressed just how tough life can be managing in Glasgow.

"The Celtic job tests you as a person every day," he said.

"Whatever you thought about management, however mentally strong you thought you were as a player or a coach, it's nothing compared to being a manager of one of these clubs [Celtic or Rangers].

"The managers of these two clubs have as much pressure as any other person in world football."

Having lost out on the league by just a single point to Rangers while leading his side to two domestic cup finals this season, Lennon has done well in his debut campaign in management, according to Strachan.

"To get 92 points is not bad going that's for sure," said Strachan. "If you'd said at the start of the season you'd get 92 points, as manager of Celtic I would have accepted that."

Strachan conceded Lennon has made mistakes in his career, and hopes he can learn from them.

"He is Neil Lennon, he is what he is," he added. "At times as a footballer, as a manager, he has done things that I've thought are maybe not great.

"As a manager you try and make sure that doesn't happen again."

Meanwhlie, Georgios Samaras, who was signed by Strachan and has continued at Celtic under Tony Mowbray and now Lennon, expects his manager to still be in charge when season 2011/12 begins.

"If you ask my opinion I think Lenny will stay," said the Greek striker.

"Lenny knows the club, he has been here 10 years and he knows exactly what to do to bring Celtic to the best level.

"I think the base to build for the future is there. And I will say what he said on Sunday, that it is not the end, it's the beginning."

Samaras was speaking ahead of Celtic's Scottish Cup final appearance against Motherwell on Saturday.

"The supporters have been magnificent this season, in comparison to last season," he added. "They have been incredible and we saw that on Sunday.

"We owe them something and of course we owe ourselves to finish with a trophy."

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