JOHN KENNEDY might know all there is to know about Celtic, but he will have learnt a lot recently about what it is like to be the manager of the club. Every thing you do and say has a knock-on effect.

Let me say this, I must have heard a manager say their team is the best in the country, as John did last week, a million times. Which is absolutely fine. You have to reassure the fans, the players and everyone else that you are confident that your team is the best, even if they have come through a bad period.

Logically, we know that the best team in Scotland at this moment in time and for the last however many months, has been Rangers. But as a manager, you have got to convince your players that they are the best. It’s one of the psychological weapons you use on your players, and with the other teams.

It’s all been done, and I have to say, the reaction to his comments have been hysterical. I saw Borna Barisic say yesterday that it was disrespectful. I think he’s been watching too many gangster films. It’s only one man’s opinion, he’s not disrespecting anyone personally.

What does he expect? John Kennedy to come out and say that he thinks Rangers are fabulous, they really do have some wonderful players and that he thinks Barisic is by far the best player that he’s ever seen? It’s just not going to happen.

When you make statements like that, the downside of it is that if you get beat, it’s going to be cast up to you. But that’s the world you live in as a football manager, especially in the Old Firm arena. And let’s face it, there’s been far more outlandish things said down the years than what John said.

As a unit, Rangers have been better this season. As a squad, they have been better. Were Celtic the better team in the last Old Firm game? I would say they were. So it’s hardly an insult to say that Celtic on their day can be the better team. They’ve proven it.

John has the right to say what he likes. He’s not being disrespectful to anyone. You’ve got to take it in the context of the question he was asked.

I’m sure John didn’t wake up on Saturday thinking ‘I’m going to say that we’re the best team in Scotland today.’ It’s good journalism, because if he says yes to that, then look at the headlines you’ve got.

It’s the type of thing that when you are new to the management game, you have to watch out for. You have to think of the consequences and prepare yourself for every eventuality in a press conference. And especially a Celtic or Rangers press conference.

When you are on one side of it, it’s like a 20 or 30 person tag-team against one. You have to be right at your sharpest to deal with that.

But if that question is put to John, I think he has every right to answer it the way he did. For me, he has nothing to apologise to anybody for if that’s the way he thinks. Absolutely not.

If I was a Celtic supporter would be quite happy with that. My manager thinks we’re the best. Good. Can you imagine if he had come out and went the other way and panned the Celtic players and praised Rangers to the heavens?

The deal as a manager at a top club is that you get paid a lot of money, and it’s not really mainly to coach players and pick the team, because that's the good part. It’s for dealing with all the other stuff.

I remember speaking to one top manager who was getting absolutely pelted in a top job in England, and I said to him ‘Let’s get it right, you’re earning what you’re earning because of the nonsense you’ve got to deal with’.

When you get to the level of a Celtic manager, every decision you make has consequences, even your press conferences. And John is finding that out.

In the end, if he wins this game and the next one against Rangers, that is all that matters. And the longer that job is up for grabs, then the more it becomes a possibility that he could get it.

Just look at how Neil Lennon got the job second time around. John will be hoping to make the Scottish Cup final, go in for a shower, and hope that Peter Lawwell comes in.

Seriously though, the powers that be will decide whether or not John is the man, and all he can do is carry on doing the best job he can.

I would imagine though that John will have a lot of backing amongst the players. And if he can win this game against Rangers, he might bring a good amount of the fans onside too.