Celtic remain on course for the Treble Treble and Johan Mjallby would love nothing more than seeing Neil Lennon being the man in charge to see them over the line.
Mjallby was the Parkhead assistant manager when Lennon was in charge for four years during his first stint back in 2010.
Winning their eighth successive title is very much on the cards and victory at Dundee this afternoon would be another massive step towards their endgame.
Mjallby thinks it’s fitting that Lennon is at the Hoops just now as he was the man at the helm when they kicked off this memorable run, back in 2012 when they wrestled the Championship from Rangers and haven’t given it up since.
In his first interview since Lennon was appointed on an interim basis to succeed Brendan Rodgers, the Parkhead legend told The Sunday Post: “It goes without saying that I am ecstatic for Neil.
“He is the ideal man for this job and he can continue the winning habits that have been in place under Brendan for the past two or three years.
“It won’t matter to Neil that this opportunity is only guaranteed until the end of the season. That was exactly the same circumstance as he went in under in 2010 and he came through it very well to show he had the ability and leadership qualities to be at the forefront of such a massive football club.
“Can he do it again, this time around? Absolutely. I’ve every faith I him.
“There is no doubt he has improved over the years, in the way he coaches, manages and deals with players.
“I heard him saying he has mellowed in the past few years and that is likely to be the case. However, he will have lost none of his passion and determination to succeed. That will never leave him.
“At the moment he is in a good position. He inherited an excellent situation from Brendan.
“To be in the quarter-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup and eight points ahead in the League, was just about perfect.
“He has kicked it on to get into the semi-final against Aberdeen and won an important league game, away to Hearts at Tynecastle. It is all heading in the right direction.
“There is another important league fixture on Sunday, away to Dundee, and maximum points will be the aim.
“If they win this weekend, and beat Rangers on March 31 at Celtic Park, I think we can safely say the League is all but secured.
“But, of course, nothing must be taken for granted. There is so much hard work ahead.
“I know Neil’s style and he will be hammering that point home to the players every day.
“He will not allow complacency and will not allow anyone inside the football department to take their foot off the pedal.
“He is within touching distance of doing the Treble. It is absolutely massive. He achieved it as a player and will be desperate to do it as a manager. We came close when we were at Celtic five or six years ago but couldn’t quite get there.
“Of course, a treble this year adds up to the Treble Treble. That is just fantastic. But it also sounds a little bit unbelievable. To win nine domestic trophies in a row is pretty much incredible.
“Brendan deserves enormous credit for that and should always be guaranteed a special place in the history of the club for his work.
“Neil has the chance to put the final pieces in place and it will be massive credit, and kudos, for him if he can do it in the next 10 weeks.
“Maybe, it was written in the stars, for Neil to be in charge as the club goes towards trying to get titles eight, nine and 10.”
When Celtic sacked Tony Mowbray three-quarters of the way through the 2009-10 season, they turned to Lennon for help. The Irishman’s first call was to Mjallby and he came on board as his assistant manager.
They were then at Bolton Wanderers together. Since then, the Swede has pursued a career in his homeland and did not join his friend at Hibernian.
Lennon has opted to inherit a backroom staff until the remainder of this season. If he lands the job permanently then he could stick with John Kennedy and Damien Duff, but add one of his own.
Mjallby would most certainly be in the running if that turned out to be the case.
Lennon knows that Mjallby is only ever a phone call away and, if he needs him, he will be on the first plane over, but he doesn’t want to cause any distractions from the immediate job in hand.
Mjallby said: “It was a pleasure and a privilege for me to work with Neil at Celtic. I enjoyed my time there and I was very proud to have been a part of the success we achieved.
“It is sometimes nice to reflect, but life is about the here and now. It’s about what you are doing today and the way you plan for tomorrow.
“That is the most important thing and that’s why Neil needs to be allowed to focus on the job. He must not be distracted.
“He will be delighted to be working again with the likes of Scott Brown, James Forrest and Mikael Lustig. Neil knows them well and trusts in them as professionals and human beings. They will be of enormous benefit to him.”
To see Lennon in charge has given Mjallby enormous delight and the pair have been in contact.
But he was surprised to see Rodgers quit when there was so much left to play for in the final three months of the campaign.
He said: “I couldn’t quite believe it when Brendan left to go to Leicester City. I think you see the season out and try to win the clean sweep again.
“But he has stated the Leicester told him that he had to take the job right away and that left him with a difficult decision.
“The pull of the English Premier League was too good for him to resist.
“However, it must never be forgotten what he achieved and he was excellent for Celtic.
“He should be remembered fondly for all the good moments he brought to the club.
“It is now up to Neil, and the other coaches, to continue the good work and keep that success flowing.
“The supporters are on a high right now and they will be dreaming of keeping the trophies coming in on a regular basis.
“But you can’t take anything for granted and you can’t be dismissive of Rangers and Aberdeen.
“Aberdeen will be formidable opponents in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
“They got a great result the other night at Ibrox and that came on the back of a 0-0 draw at Parkhead.
“Derek McInnes is someone I have enormous respect for as a manager and he is capable of doing good things.
“That said, Celtic will quite rightly be the favourites and they have to live up to that billing.
“But Neil will not even be thinking about the Cup at this moment. It will be about Dundee.
“There is then the international break and the focus will be on being ready for the Rangers game on March 31.
“That promises to be another cracker.
“I know loved the games against Rangers and he will relish every second of the challenge at the end of the month.
“The players will be prepared and motivated to win, for sure.”