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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Alan Galindo

Celtic hero Neil Lennon WON'T rule out Scotland managerial return as he gives honest Cyprus insight

Neil Lennon will NOT rule out a return to the dugout in Scotland as he revealed he's already had some job offers.

The 51-year-old is currently on the hunt for his next opportunity after being sacked by Omonia Nicosia. The Celtic hero tasted instant success in Cyprus by lifting domestic silverware before a stunning Europa League qualifying win over Gent that secured what he describes as a 'sexy' draw against Manchester United and Real Sociedad in the group stages. Lennon admits it was disappointing to be axed so soon with decisions taken 'very quickly' but the experience has not put him off taking on another job outside of Europe.

His management career to date includes two trophy-laden stints at Celtic, promotion success with Hibs and a spell down south with Bolton as well as his Cypriot adventure. Another go in the dugout close to home is something Lenny refuses to close the door on and admits if they right project presented itself he would be keen with 'many good clubs' in Scotland.

READ MORE: Neil Lennon on Celtic transfer 'inevitability' as he talks Rangers derby and Alistair Johnston

When asked if he's had any job offers since departing Cyprus, he told Glasgow Live Sport in an exclusive interview on behalf of Football Odds : "I have yeah, but nothing that sort of tickles my fancy at the minute.

"I had a compensation package with Omonia that is sort of finished now so I am free to look elsewhere. I am doing some media work and have enjoyed Christmas and New Year so now I am ready to go again. I am going to start looking now and see if there is anything but it is a very difficult business.

"There are so many managers out there and so many good managers out of work so it is very competitive. You can't just go: 'Yeah I would love that job as if you are going to get it'.

"You've got to be patient but at 51 I am still very young and I look forward to the next challenge wherever that may be."

When asked if he would rule out a return to management in Scotland, he added: "That is my home. I wouldn't be adverse to that. I've done Celtic twice and Hibs. Going to Cyprus was brilliant as it was so diverse and a nice fresh challenge. I really enjoyed that.

"Maybe Scotland if the right offer came along and it was a good project to grit your teeth into. I wouldn't be adverse to that at all. There are many, many good clubs in Scotland and Scottish football is a really good product as well."

His experience in Cyprus may have been short-lived but it is one he really enjoyed.

Lennon was surprised by just how good the standard of football was and the competitive nature of the league with four of five teams in the running for the title each season.

He took the likes of Gary Hooper, Adam Matthews and Brandon Barker out with him as part of his journey. He may not be the manager anymore but he is planning a return visit in the coming weeks and will catch up with the trio during his trip.

On his time at Omonia, he explained: "I really enjoyed it. It was a really competitive league. When I arrived we were in the bottom six. It is a bit like Scotland where it splits after so many games so we were in the bottom six but still in the cup. To go on and win it was a brilliant experience and the celebrations after were crazy.

"The climate is great and the standard of football is surprisingly good. The top four or five teams can win it. It is not just down to one or two teams so no one runs away with it. It is really competitive and a good bunch of boys.

"We then beat Gent home and away to qualify for the Europa League and then we landed the sexy draw alongside Real Sociedad, Manchester United and FC Sheriff. Although that was probably just a level too much at that time.

"It was disappointing to leave but the Cypriot owners are emotional types and make these decisions very quickly. I went out there with an open-mind and had sort of a year in mind to get the experience of it all but it was wonderful. I really, really enjoyed it."

Asked if his experience has put him off working abroad again, he added: "No, not at all. The far opposite from it really. The only problem is you are away from home and the family are back in Glasgow. That was the only drawback really. The rest of it was very enjoyable. I learnt a lot. You come up against Spanish, Serbian, Slovenian and Cypriot coaches and all different styles of football which was fascinating to come up against."

On Barker, Hooper and Matthews, he continued: "They loved it. Adam [Matthews] and Brandon [Barker] came in at the start of the pre-season and did the full pre-season. Gary [Hooper] came in on the last day of the window so it took him time to get up to speed but he's been banging in the goals as you would expect.

"The other two have loved it. Adam in particular was exceptionally good. Wales were keeping an eye on him before the World Cup as well. He needed the pre-season and it has done him good. Brandon is a little more inconsistent but again they are enjoying the life out there. I am going back out there in a couple of weeks and I'll probably catch up with them when I do."

*This is part two of four in our Neil Lennon exclusive special. Part three will be released from 12.30pm today*


- Neil Lennon on Celtic transfer 'inevitability' as he talks Rangers derby and Alistair Johnston

- Giorgos Giakoumakis Celtic exit option emerges with FC Midtjylland 'keen' on Hoops star

- Josip Juranovic 'bust-up' theory floated as Rangers vs Celtic display branded 'absolute shocker'

- Celtic's Liel Abada lands UEFA recognition in prestigious 'watchlist' once featuring Erling Haaland

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