WANYAMA BACKING FOR LENNON
Victor Wanyama has backed Neil Lennon to be crowned manager of the year after the Celtic boss was named on the shortlist for the Cheque Centre PFA Scotland award.
Lennon was unveiled on Wednesday as one of the three nominees along with Motherwell's Stuart McCall and Derek Adams at Ross County, with the winner set to be announced on May 6.
The Hoops boss has already guided Celtic to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title with games to spare and Hoops midfielder Wanyama believes he should pick up the prize, which is voted for by his fellow managers.
He said: "For me, he deserves it. He has been outstanding this season.
"He has worked hard for the team and I think he should win it.
"He is a big motivator. He has passion for the game and it's easy working for him."
Lennon has had a number of run-ins with the Scottish Football Association this season.
Asked if he felt the manager's "passion" is misinterpreted at times, Wanyama said: "For us, we don't think he gets angry.
"It's just the passion. He just loves the game so much."
The SFA confirmed today Calum Murray will referee this weekend's Old Firm derby after Craig Thomson was forced to pull out of the clash due to family reasons.
Murray also officiated the last meeting with Rangers, which saw Lennon sent off at half-time and Wanyama, Cha Du-Ri and Ibrox defender Carlos Bocanegra all handed red cards.
However, the Kenyan has no issues with the referee officiating Sunday's game at Celtic Park.
Speaking on Radio Clyde, he said: "I don't want to comment on the referees.
"I know for sure the referee will come and have a good game so I don't want to make any comments about the referee."
However, Wanyama was keen to stress he is not a dirty player despite his challenge on Steven Whittaker which led to his dismissal in the 3-2 defeat at Ibrox last month.
He said: "I was just unlucky because my timing on the tackle was wrong.
"But I am not a dirty player, I am not someone who is always going to injure other players. I just missed my timing.
"Come Sunday, it will be a different game and hopefully I will have a good game."
Wanyama believes Celtic will have a point to prove this time around after losing the last derby.
He added: "We are looking forward to playing this game. We are happy to have another chance to prove ourselves.
"I know we lost the last time but hopefully this weekend we will get the three points so we will be working hard.
"You saw what happened before and we are going to try to have less mistakes."
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