Neil Lennon celebrates after Celtic's win over Barcelona. Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport
lennon and mac

Neil Lennon backs Jim McGuinness to revel in his new role at Celtic

The Donegal man will work with youth team players primarily but may soon be promoted to senior player development.

GLASGOW CELTIC MANAGER Neil Lennon has given Jim McGuinness a ringing endorsement after it was confirmed the Donegal supremo would be taking up a part-time coaching role at the Scottish club.

McGuinness, an All-Ireland winning player and coach, ended two months of speculation yesterday by confirming that he would take up the role with Celtic.

Lennon, who played for the Armagh minor footballers in the 1990s, said, “He’ll initially come in on a two-day-a-week basis and we’ll take it from there.

“We didn’t want to take away from what he is doing with Donegal because they have been magnificent this year and have been for the last couple of years.”

Speaking to Highland Radio yesterday McGuinness gave a brief outline of his role with the Scottish league champions.

He said, “My primary job will be as a performance coach and to work with the younger players and Under-20 players that will be trying to make the breakthrough into the first team.

“It will be to look at them on an individual basis, look at their weaknesses and try to develop their strengths and, hopefully, put them in a position in six months, a year, 18 months where they can push for first team football.”

Lennon guided his team to a Champions League win over Barcelona on Wednesday. He feels McGuinness will settle quickly in his new role.

“The cross to football won’t be a problem for Jim,” Lennon declared. “He’ll come in and predominantly work with younger players.

“But if I feel there is a first team player or players who will benefit from Jim’s skills then I’ll have no hesitation in using him to do that.”

Jim McGuinness confirms Celtic move and insists it will be ‘the best of both worlds’

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