SINCE his playing career was so cruelly and prematurely cut short, John Kennedy has probably dreamed of the day when he would become Celtic manager. It is doubtful he ever envisaged it being like this.

That his opportunity to audition for the role of his life has come in such tumultuous circumstances is unfortunate, when the height of the team’s ambitions is to delay the title celebrations on the other side of the city for as long as humanly possible, and have a tilt at the Scottish Cup.

If he can prevent a Rangers title party at Celtic Park next week and lead Celtic to a record-breaking fifth-successive Scottish Cup success, it might still not be enough for him to stay in the role beyond the end of the season, with fans craving a big name appointment to shake off the torpor that has enveloped the club during this disastrous tilt at 10 in-a-row.

According to Kennedy, he has been set no such targets in any case, with principal shareholder Dermot Desmond and outgoing chief executive offering support and counsel, but no parameters by which he could put himself in the frame for the top job in the long-term.

For him, it is about putting club before self, and letting the cards fall as they may.

“I’m just taking it as it comes,” Kennedy said. “I’ve spoken to both Peter and Dermot over the last week and a bit and they’ve been great, very supportive. They understand the position we are in. “They’ve obviously dealt with Neil (Lennon)’s situation and they’ll do what they think is right for the club.

“They’ve been here through a really successful period, they know what it is like to have the club at the best possible level, and have the club competing and winning trophies and being in Europe and everything else. They’ve been through that, have great experience and know the levels of that.

“Ultimately when things don’t go so well at a club this size then people go for scapegoats, they go on the attack.

“They are experienced guys, they have the club at heart and ultimately will make the right decisions for the club. I’ve got to follow that as well and just continue to do that. And everybody needs to get on board with that at the club, and they have been.

“Yeah, we are where we are, but how can we affect this going forward. You can fall away, and feel sorry for yourselves and write everything off, but life goes on, the club goes on, and we’ve got to get back to the levels we know we are capable of.

“I’m honestly not taking myself into consideration because if I start doing that, it becomes about me. It becomes me showing myself and that might not be what’s right for the team and the club at this time.

“Everything I do is what I think is the right thing for now, and I’ll do that the best I possibly can. In terms of auditioning, I’ve been here for a period of time. I know how the club works, how the people work within it.

“I’ve very much had a great time here, but for this time I’ve got to very much focus on what I need to do on a daily basis and leading into games, and do what I think is the right thing for everyone. And just park my own ambition, my own ego to the side and deal with what comes my way.”

Still, for all that Kennedy is putting his own ambitions on the backburner for the timebeing, the extended uninterrupted period of training over the past week has allowed him to implement some of his own ideas on the playing squad, as he gets used to being his own man.

“I have real good support from the staff and the players have made life for me much easier,” he said.

“I have tried to spend time with them. We’ve had a couple of team meetings and a number of individual meetings.

“We need to be calm in this period. There has been a lot of uncertainty in this period and when there is silence, then the silence gets filled with nonsense sometimes. So we’ve tried to address that and make sure everybody is quite comfortable in the environment, knows the expectations, know what we expect every day when we come to work and then put a focus on the pitch, which is the most important thing.

“We’ve just tried to address that, get busy with things, not overly thinking about the added pressure of making decisions because ultimately I’m in a position where I’ll do what’s right for the club.

“Any decision I make, whether that be team selection or what we do on a daily basis, will be one for the good of the team - in my opinion, in the staff’s opinion - and ultimately what is good for the club in the long term.

“The boys have been terrific. In terms of their attitude and application, it’s been first class. And there’s been a real togetherness to push each other and make each other better.

“So, come Sunday we want to show that in the game. That’s what it comes down to. You can work all week, and everything else can be great, but you have got to put it into the game, put good performances in and win games.

“For the players, that is what I want to see, that everyone can look at it and go ‘yeah, you can see Celtic are much better than they have been showing this season’ and show that improvement and that level, which they are capable of.”