Celtic manager Neil Lennon has taken the bold move of publicly revealing his tactical plans for the remainder of the 2011-12 season: playing himself, up front, on his own.
With Celtic in contention for both domestic cups, while also enjoying a 21 point lead in the Scottish Premier League, Lennon denies that the timing of his new tactics have anything to do with the current difficulties at Rangers – now reportedly in danger of not completing the season.
“It’s a complete coincidence – playing myself up front is something we have been working on in training for a while,” assured Lennon.
“I’ll admit that training has been a tad more relaxed of late, since we started letting the lads wear their own clothes and bring their favourite toys, but I thought that we needed a shake-up for the run-in.”
Critics have pointed to Lennon’s poor goalscoring record, netting only three times in seven years when playing for Celtic, but Assistant Manager Johan Mjällby remains confident.
“You’ve got to remember that Neil played a very restricted role in those days, and his true game is about more than just that. I’ve watched him in some reserve games,” enthused the Swede “and his movement is incredible- defences have been flummoxed by his moonwalking. It is very distracting when combined with all his laughing”
Celtic are expected to debut the tactic in the Scottish Communities League Cup final against Kilmarnock this Sunday.If successful, Lennon is expected to persist with the tactic against Rangers the following week.
Sources close to the Celtic manager have revealed that he is set to up the ante in this match by unveiling his own “wee man up front” – which he privately refers to as “the Old Firm”.