Lennon vows to bring 'thunder' back to Parkhead as he takes full control

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The Independent Football

As a footballing city, Glasgow is not exactly short on blood and thunder. The Old Firm can generally be relied upon to raise the pulse rate, for better or for worse. Neil Lennon, the former Celtic midfielder who yesterday was confirmed as the club's manager having taken over on an interim basis in March, clearly understands this better than most.

"What I want to do is bring is the thunder back," said Lennon at his unveiling at Parkhead yesterday. "I want this place rocking again. I want the passion, I want the noise.

"I want the fans to be able to walk to the ground ready for it. I want the players to go to war every time they go on the pitch.

"All those things will be in-built before the season starts. We've got to put up a stronger challenge to Rangers and try to wrest the title away from them."

Lennon refused to confirm who he will bring in as his backroom staff but it has been reported that his assistant Johan Mjallby will be joined by former Celtic midfielder Alan Thompson and Garry Parker.

On the issue of an experienced mentor, Lennon said that he will be looking for help but was quick to stress that Finland coach Stuart Baxter, reportedly put forward by the Celtic board, is only a candidate.

The Celtic chairman, John Reid, intervened when Lennon was asked if he had spoken to Baxter but the new manager was keen to stress his autonomy. "Obviously experience is the one thing I don't have, I have other attributes," added Lennon.

"It's an area that I might look to tap in to, but again that will be a announcement made when the decision is finalised by myself. He [Baxter] is a candidate amongst others.

"But as with all the football decisions, whether they be backroom staff, medical, or sport science, I will have the final say."

Lennon admitted that Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley is on his radar – "he's one that interests us, yes" – but would go into no further details about possible targets, although player such as Sol Campbell, Jimmy Bullard and Liam Lawrence have been linked with moves to Glasgow.

He said: "We have targeted players, we are looking to strengthen in many areas. We need a stronger team. I need more men in the team. I wouldn't say we were pretty far down the road but we have made inroads and we will get cracking on it as soon as today is finished."

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