OF all the players in the Celtic squad, Scott Sinclair was the one who should have been most affected when Brendan Rodgers suddenly departed for Leicester City back in February.

The winger had worked under Rodgers as a teenager at the outset of his professional football career at Chelsea, shone for him at Swansea City and moved to Glasgow to work under the Northern Irishman.

So when the Englishman, who has his contract at Parkhead extended for another year earlier this month, speaks in glowing terms about his mentor’s replacement it underlines how well Neil Lennon has done.

Speaking ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hearts at Hampden tomorrow, a game he is hoping to start and help his team triumph in, Sinclair admitted he had been impressed.

“When Brendan left, it was a difficult time,” he said. “It was a tough time for Lenny to come in, with all the uncertainty among the players about what was going on.

“It wasn’t just myself, it was a shock for the whole squad when the manager left. No-one saw it happening. We came into training one day and he left.

“It was quite difficult for us as players, but at the same time, we got on with it. You move on. That’s exactly what we have done.

“It was a tough part of the season when the new manager came in and Brendan left. You have to pick up the pieces.

“But obviously the manager has done great since he came in. I think we have eight in a row and we are in a cup final. At the moment it would be great if we do get the win on Saturday.”

Sinclair added “We are the players, we are the ones who go out and do the business. But at the same time, the manager comes with his formation and tactics.

“He (Lennon) is so passionate for this club. You can see he has the same winning mentality as all the players. He is great in training, he never lets you slack off, and that’s what you want from a manager.

“At times, it is hard for Lenny because everyone is comparing him to Brendan. That’s very unfair for people to do that.

“He has come in with his own ways and he is a totally different manager to Brendan. He has done a great job, he’s got us to another cup final and eight-in-a-row. They are their own men and have different styles of playing.”

Sinclair, who has been a key member of the Celtic team which won back-to-backtrebles in his first two season in Scotland, admitted he was sad to see Rodgers leave, but stressed he is happy to stay at Parkhead.

“I’ve known Brendan since I was 16 at Chelsea and he was youth team coach,” he said. “I’ve played under him for many years of my career. I sent him a text to wish him all the best and hopefully he does well at Leicester.

“These seasons have been the best part of my career I think. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it and obviously I’ve got another year. I’m happy here and I’m just happy to be here for another year.

“Obviously that was out of my control it was the club’s decision and they’ve taken the year and I’m happy that they’ve taken it.”

Sinclair, who was signed from Manchester City for £3 million in 2016, admitted he could never imagined the success that Celtic would enjoy when he put pen to paper.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I think when I first signed I never even thought of double trebles and treble trebles. Now are going into the last game with an expectancy to get the job done.

“We’ve been there, we’ve done that, so we know the experience when we are going into it. Everyone is expecting us to win but it’s going to be a very tough game. Hearts are a strong side, they’re physical, and they are going to bring the game to us.”

“I think because we have the winning mentality in the team everyone wants to win.”