Lennon relishing return to dugout

12 April 2011 09:00

Neil Lennon returns from his touchline ban against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Tuesday night vowing not to spend any more time in the stand.

The Celtic boss met the media on Monday for the first time since before the controversial Scottish Cup fifth-round replay against Rangers at Parkhead on March 2, which ended with him and Ibrox assistant manager Ally McCoist having to be separated following the 1-0 home win.

"It's been a cooling-off period and the last thing I want to be is sitting in the stand again," said Lennon. "I had a five-game ban which meant I couldn't do my job properly."

Lennon was originally handed a four-match touchline ban for that highly-publicised altercation on top of the four-match suspension imposed on him for being sent to the stand at Tynecastle earlier in the season.

However, Celtic successfully challenged the Scottish Football Association's ruling that the two punishments should run consecutively and the former Hoops skipper was effectively handed just an extra one-match ban.

The Northern Irishman believes the Parkhead club was right to take the ruling body to task over their rules but is not looking to get involved in any further controversy.

"We were right to do that and it has been seen that there are flaws in the way that things have been handled," added Lennon, who showed his concern for the much criticised McDiarmid Park pitch when he took his players up to Perth on Monday to have a look at the playing surface.

"The chief executive at the SFA (Stewart Regan) wants to change those things and that's all we have been looking for - a change in the right direction. But I wouldn't want to be in that position again to tell you the truth and I hope I'm not.

"I don't see the body language of the players closely and I don't get a feel for the games as well as I would do on the touchline.

"And obviously I can communicate much better with my coaches and players when I'm on the touchline and that is very important for me. But I'm back doing what I want to do and it encompasses all aspects of the job again."

Source: PA

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