At his own celebrations at Celtic Park, Stuart Kettlewell, the Ross County coach, spared a thought for his opposite number, Neil Lennon, describing the Celtic coach as “classy”
After his team stopped a string of disappointing results and endured a big shock with a spot in the last 16 of the Betfred Cup, Kettlewell was delighted to be able to take the burden off his own shoulders.
But he also defended Lennon under pressure, and in a very special manner.
Kettlewell said, “Neil Lennon is a guy I have a lot of respect for,”
“You talk about how you act with class and how people treat you as a manager. “Sometimes people might look at you and question you, but I know that he was nothing but class from the experiences I had with Neil. Along the way, he gave me some words of wisdom.
I think with this soccer team he’s done an absolutely brilliant job. I know when I’m under pressure from poor results, it’s amplified at a club like Celtic.
“I think he’s done a great job and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Kettlewell says the 2-0 win is on a par with any County cup surprises over the years and he was especially pleased with the reaction of his players after the crushing loss to Kilmarnock last week (10 players).
“This is a tremendous result for our soccer club,” he said.
But after last weekend, I was highly critical, so, to put it clearly, I expected a reaction and I got that in abundance. Each player just threw himself into it.
We had a very, very well executed game plan and we ended up with a brilliant outcome.
We know the Celtic race was on, we know how successful they were in the cup competitions, how awesome they were at home in the last few years, so it was a mammoth challenge for us.
But in the last ten years, our club has always been upset, and that’s the case for even the brightest.