What local Old Firm fans are thinking about Mowbray’s Celtic departure
Tony Mowbray’s reign at Celtic Park lasted just 44 games, ending in humiliation at the hands of St. Mirren on Wednesday evening.
Hordes of fans from this side of the Irish Sea make the trip to Glasgow each week — from the green and blue and they are never short of an opinion on the goings-on at their bitter rivals.
Here we gauge the opinions of both camps following the departure of Mowbray yesterday.
Michael Lynch - Armagh Down Celtic Supporters Club: “I don’t know whether Neil Lennon will be the answer in the long term. He hasn’t been coaching for that long and it’s a big job to take on.
“I wouldn’t rule it out because it’s something that Celtic would do. They tend to take managers with a Celtic background but you just never know.
“They might cause a shock and get someone completely out of the blue, a foreign coach maybe and if they do that I hope that whoever gets it at least keeps Lennon on board so he can keep building his experience because I think he could be a manager in the future.”
Damian McCann - Belfast: “I thought it was a great appointment at the time because he was an ex-Celtic player, he had experience managing in the SPL with Hibs and he did a great job at West Brom.
“We started off well in the league, even if in Europe we were poor but even when we started dropping points Rangers were doing the same.
“Then the wheels just seemed to come off for some reason. I don’t know why but fans turned on him very quickly, more than I can remember since John Barnes was in charge.
“I’m sorry that it has come to this but when you are that far behind what I think is a very poor Rangers team then something is seriously wrong.”
Paul Devlin, Season Ticket holder, Belfast: “Up to Wednesday night I was backing him and even if we'd have lost by just the odd goal he'd probably still be in the job and I'd still back him. I think he's been a bit unfortunate because there have been too many players who haven't done it for him, been too inconsistent. Neil Lennon taking over will probably give everyone a bit of a lift but even if we win the Cup this year — which we should — I don’t think he should get the job permanently.”
Neil Magill - Cresta Loyal RSC East Belfast: “Even after losing to St Mirren Mowbray was still quoting that Rangers play negative football even though we are 10 points clear with two games in hand.
“We've scored more than them and conceded less. He was obsessed with what we were doing instead of concentrating on his own club’s failings which are largely down to his signings in January and his poor tactics.
“Rangers haven't signed a player for 18 months but we haven't needed to buy anyone because he had been our best signing.
“He blamed everyone — the media the SFA, the referee's and at one point I think he even blamed the ballboys at Ibrox for not throwing the ball back quicker in their recent Old Firm defeat even though we scored the winner with the last kick of the game.
“Personally I’m sorry he’s gone.”
Andy McConnell - Belfast: “It’s hardly surprising really, they have been terrible all season, and the fact that we haven’t been that good yet and are so far ahead of them in the league says it all.
“I don’t think the press took to him because he wasn’t playing ball with them and when that happens they have the power to change people’s opinions. I suppose we will be sorry to see him go because he was the best thing to happen to us since John Barnes. Lennon taking over for the rest of the season won’t make that much of a difference. He will probably give them a bit of fight but the league’s over.”
Jonny Malseed - from Belfast now living in Glasgow: “Over here people are a bit surprised that it took this long to be honest. Rangers fans are seeing it as a bit like the Paul le Guen situation for us which was a disaster.
“While it's hard not to laugh, we aren't taking anything for granted and we have our own problems. These things tend to come around and it'll be our turn again sometime.”