John Hartson believes Celtic need to make decision on Neil Lennon sooner rather than later

John Hartson reiterated his backing of Neil Lennon to become permanent Celtic manager but stressed any decision should be made sooner rather than later.

The Northern Irishman, 47, took over until the end of the season in February following Brendan Rodgers’ sudden departure to Leicester.

Former Parkhead skipper Lennon, in his second spell in the dugout, has not lost a game in 10 and the Hoops only need one point at Aberdeen on Saturday to secure an eighth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title with an impending William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hearts which could complete an unprecedented  domestic triple treble.

Hartson, who played with Lennon under Martin O’Neill, knows fans are split on the suitability of a man he regards as a friend but speaking at The John Hartson Foundation Golf Event at Turnberry, he told Radio Clyde that time is of the essence.

He said: “I would love to see Neil continue in the role, he has done everything asked of him.

“I think the fans are quite divided. There is a feeling that they absolutely adore Neil, he is one of their own, he is a legend at the club, they idolise him but some want him to stay and others want to see someone else, a new direction.

“I have no decision in that Celtic won’t listen to me.

“Whether or not it is to be Neil, a decision needs to be made fairly quickly because there is a lot to do in terms of loan signings going back to their respective clubs, they need to be replaced.

“We need to bring in new players, give the team a bit of help in terms of quality so we can move forward again next season.

“The Scottish Cup final is on May 25 and I think the boys will only have four or five weeks of rest then they will be back.

“The Champions League qualification games will start early July and we want to try to hit the ground running and qualify for that.

“I have played in them, gone through and got knocked out. Those games are never easy so I think we are all pretty anxious about the decision being made.

“I know I am biased, he is my friend. I don’t know where the club are going but if Neil brings home the treble then he puts himself in a stronger position.”

In its ninth year, The Hartson Foundation helps to raise awareness on testicular cancer and will go through the £1million barrier this year on funds raised.