Alex Bruce admits he thinks Celtic will be able to cope with the departure of Damien Duff from the backroom staff at Parkhead thanks to assistant manager John Kennedy.
The former Kilmarnock and Leeds defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has revealed he has heard “exceptional” things about Neil Lennon’s number two and that he is one of the most influential people at the club.
Celtic confirmed over the weekend that Duff is leaving the Hoops after a year-and-a-half on the coaching team, with the 41-year-old taking up the assistant manager’s position with the Republic of Ireland national side.
"It was the best year-and-a-half of my sporting life. It was an absolute dream. I’m gutted, but my kids need me, which is always the most important thing to any dad.” 💚
Thanks for the #9INAROW memories, Damien and best of luck for the future! 🍀🇮🇪
— Celtic Football Club (from 🏡) (@CelticFC) June 13, 2020
However, while admitting that recently retired players can offer a fresh perspective in the dressing room, Bruce claims that the former Newcastle winger’s departure may not be too big a blow to the Bhoys.
Bruce told Football Insider: “When someone’s just come out of the game they understand the modern-day player and what it’s all about compared to a coach who finished playing 15, 20 years ago.
“That gives you that advantage where he knows what a modern-day player’s psyche is all about. However, he’s inexperienced, he’s only been there a year or two so whether he’s going to be a huge loss, only time will tell.
“I think the main people there are Neil Lennon and his assistant (John Kennedy), who’s been there a number of years.
“He’s very well thought of at Celtic, him and Lenny are the main two guys so as long as they keep hold of them, I think they’ll be okay. He’s (Kennedy) meant to be an exceptional coach and a big part of the backroom staff at Celtic.”
Kennedy, who was a graduate of the youth system at Parkhead, became a scout for the club after being forced to hang up his boots due to injury back in 2010.
The 36-year-old has held a number of coaching roles for the Hoops and became assistant manager upon Lennon’s appointment last year.