Neil Lennon takes the helm at Rapid Bucharest

Rapid Bucharest have named former Celtic manager Neil Lennon as their new head coach.

Rapid finished sixth in the Romanian top flight following their final match on Sunday.

Lennon recently came close to becoming manager of Republic of Ireland and returns to coaching after an 18-month hiatus. The 52-year-old led Omonia Nicosia to Cypriot Cup success in 2022 and then the Europa League group stage.

Quoted on Rapid’s website, Lennon said: “I hope to create a strong connection between myself and the fans, but that comes with getting positive results and performing. It is my responsibility. I know they are very passionate supporters who love the club. They are similar to Celtic fans.”

Co-owner Dan Sucu believes the arrival of Lennon will bring new discipline to the team.

“He comes from a soccer culture, the Anglo-Saxon one, based on seriousness, work, success,” he said on the club’s website. “A culture where decisions, once made, are no longer commented on or negotiated, but simply implemented.

“A coach with exceptional results, experienced but still young, energetic, very authoritative, a true leader.

“I am convinced that we will no longer have players who demonstrate their speed at three in the morning from the disco or on the ski slopes, or who show up to the team with extra pounds than the optimal weight.

“I am also convinced that next season the physical preparation, commitment and determination of our team will be at a significantly increased level compared to the season just ended.”

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