Celtic manager Neil Lennon has dismissed speculation that he could leave the Scottish Premier League champions, saying that he does not “see any reason” to quit Celtic Park.
The Northern Irishman has been attracting attention from other clubs after his side’s run to the Champions League last 16, where they were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Italian champions Juventus.
However, the young boss believes he still has a job to do with the Hoops and is eyeing the challenges ahead, including replicating their European campaign next year and holding on to stars like Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster and Gary Hooper.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Saturday's clash with Ross County, Lennon said: “[Speculation] makes no difference to me. I am the manager of Celtic and I am one of the privileged few who have been lucky enough to do this job. I enjoy it, I love what I do.
"I can’t stop speculation about players or myself but at this current period I am Celtic manager and I don’t see any reason for that to change in the future.
“It just means that you might be doing a decent job along the way. But why are we talking about me leaving Celtic all of a sudden? I am only three years into the job. I am doing my job, I haven’t done a job.
"I want to improve myself, the team, the players and take the club forward. We have made huge strides this season. It is going to be difficult to replicate it next season but that is the challenge that lies ahead.”
The ex-Celtic captain also blasted the media for creating speculation about the futures of some of his players, and suggested that they might not get a better experience at other clubs.
“You guys [the media] create the speculation. The minute we get a player in who does well, it’s as if you can’t wait for him to go somewhere else.
“It’s as if this is just a passing phase in their career. I have told the players this before; they may not get it better than this.
“They may not get to play at such a big club, to play in the Champions League and to have the chance to win trophies year-in, year-out. The only thing that hampers us is that we are in a difficult financial climate.
“But, as I have said, I don’t want to stop players’ progress, I want them to go and succeed.”