For the first time in seven seasons, John Kennedy will not find himself a member of a title winning backroom team this summer.

If the unravelling of Celtic’s domestic dominance has been a shock this term, Kennedy’s focus remains on what lies ahead, whatever that may be. 

With an air of uncertainty the prevailing mood at Celtic as a substantial restructure looms at the end of what has been an exceptional era, the interim manager is keen to restore a sense of calmness as the Parkhead side see out the remainder of a calamitous campaign without further drama.

And after a turbulent three months in which the departed Neil Lennon was the focal point for the failures of the season, Kennedy offered a tacit reminder to the playing squad that they have underperformed throughout this season and regardless of what comes next for there is an immediate responsibility to the shirt they currently sport.

“It’s about putting demands on them [the players] and giving them more responsibility,” he said. “They are not children – they are professional adults. We’ve tried to steady things and bring clarity in the last couple of days after a very muddled time with the emotions around people losing their jobs.  

"It's a case of bringing things together. If you listen to too many voices and opinions you can start to doubt things.  You need to trust each other. I’ve been saying to the players in the last couple of days to believe in each other. These guys will admit they have under-performed this season but at the same time most of them are treble winners and won trophies every season.  

“It’s about going back and saying, ‘what makes us good?’  

“I know it’s about results, but results are the outcome of what you do. We have to think about all the things that made us good. If might be you need determination to get that winner or stop that goal to get you over the line in certain games.” 

There is little that will salvage the campaign – results over Rangers from the two remaining fixtures against the Ibrox side might salvage a little pride – and there will be no hiding place for Kennedy if results remain erratic.

His reputation tainted this term because of the failed campaign, he is nevertheless undaunted by what he has inherited. 

“Everyone sees things differently and has an opinion, which is fine,” he said.  “I’ve always approached it with the view I love challenges. This has been the most challenging season I’ve had in my coaching career. It’s been tough, it’s been disappointing, none more so than for Neil, and myself assisting him.  

“But you have to realise how to fix it and bring it back rather than go to pieces.

“It’s about doing the right things to help the club and the team. If the performances come, then the results come, and if the results come, everything is always much better at the club."

Kennedy also suspects that this week will have hammered home to Lennon just how mentally debilitating the last few months of his second managerial stint at the club were. 

"He probably got to the point where the light wasn't there for him anymore,” said Kennedy. "He's had a helluva lot of criticism this year and has had to stand out there every matchday. 

"Probably, in a way [he will be relieved]. Without thinking that beforehand.  

"There have been a number of challenges this year with different things and Neil as the manager has dealt with it all. He's a strong guy, a strong character and has shown very good leadership behind the scenes dealing with all this and staying calm.  

"For anyone, it must be exhausting - but Neil never showed that.  

"He came in with an attitude to try to improve and turn the corner, so credit to him for that.  

"But probably when he sits back now, as much as he'd love to be in a better position and still be here driving it forward again, he's been through an exhausting time.”