John Kennedy: Celtic defender Christopher Jullien unsure why anyone would leave club

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland
Celtic assistant John Kennedy and manager Neil Lennon celebrate
John Kennedy was promoted to assistant when Neil Lennon became manager in February

John Kennedy has the qualities to be a good manager, says Christopher Jullien, but the Celtic defender wonders how he could be enticed to leave the club.

Kennedy, assistant to Neil Lennon, has been heavily linked with the vacant head coach role at Scottish Premiership rivals Hibernian.

But Celtic are seeking another domestic treble and are already through to the knockout stage of the Europa League.

"He's in a good place, we are in a good place," Jullien said of Kennedy.

"Who would leave Celtic? I'm in love with the club and I'm sure that he loves the place."

Kennedy, 36, has been on Celtic's staff since he was forced to retire through injury 10 years ago. He was first-team coach under Brendan Rodgers before being promoted when Lennon took over in February.

Jullien, who joined Celtic for £7m from Toulouse this summer, thinks the Scot will make the next step one day.

"I'm sure he has it," he said. "I know he has all the qualities to be a good trainer for sure. He's helped me and he's helped Celtic."

The Frenchman revealed that Kennedy, who played in his centre-half position, had been particularly helpful to him in his role with the Glasgow club.

"Since I arrived, he's been really good with me," he said. "He's tried to advise me on everything that I can do on the field. Having him on my side every day is really, really enjoyable.

"He's given me some advice on defending, on scoring, on everything; the whole role that I have on the pitch.

"You can't ask for any more when you first arrive at a club; that someone is there for you and can tell you what you did well, what you did badly.

"Every time I have a problem or something like that on the field, or something I don't understand, I call out to him and he answers me so quickly and that's the thing I love about him."

Win-win situation for Kennedy - analysis

Former Motherwell centre-half Stephen Craigan on BBC Scotland's Sportsound

I think for a young coach like John, who is very well thought of, there's a risk in taking a job and giving that all up, all that security where you can work under the radar a bit and can learn.

Some people have a real burning desire to be a manager and think "I want to do that" and, if John has it, and an opportunity like Hibs arrives then wow, what a great place to start.

Certainly, if he went somewhere like Hibs and was successful and won a trophy, or took them into European football, that would further heighten the expectation for him to get the Celtic job. It would be a wonderful stepping stone, but we know in football it doesn't always work out.

Livingston midfielder Marvin Bartley on BBC Scotland's Sportsound

He is a well-respected coach, he's worked under so many good managers and if he feels he's ready to take the next step then what a place to do it.

It's a club that's got everything there really to be a top-three team consistently in the top-flight, so if he's got a desire to go and manage, hells look at Hibs and think this is probably the ideal opportunity.

I think he has a good enough reputation and he's respected enough at Celtic that, should he go somewhere and unfortunately fail, they'll take him back in a heartbeat. It's a win-win situation for him.

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