WEDNESDAY will mark a year that has flown past since Neil Lennon answered the call to return to Celtic and steer the club through the tumultuous days following the departure of Brendan Rodgers. From interim manager, to securing the Treble Treble, through his permanent appointment and various European adventures in-between, he has barely had time to catch his breath since.

It is rare for the Celtic manager to have much time to be reflective, but as he snatched a quiet moment between his side’s Europa League tie in Copenhagen and another crucial Premiership encounter against Kilmarnock tomorrow in Glasgow, he allowed himself to think back over the 12 frantic months that have followed since that day last February.

It is a great irony of being a manager of such a big club that the time seems to careen by, while every year spent in the job seems to add 10 to your features, a quirk which Lennon acknowledges with a wry grin.

He is just glad though that for the most part, he has been keeping the smiles on the faces of Celtic supporters since he stepped back into the dugout.

“I got told [it was a year since I came back] the other day,” Lennon said. “How do I look? I’m hanging in there!

“It has flown past. You are just going from game to game to game. You don’t have time to source it back and analyse things. We have another big game on Sunday against Kilmarnock, and we have to prepare again. We were looking at Kilmarnock on the plane on the way home from Denmark.

“These players have been unbelievable for me. We’re in a strong position at the moment. They have won three trophies since I have come back, they have topped a Europa League group, had a great result in Denmark.

“We are going well in the league and have won the League Cup this season, so they’ve been fantastic.

“I cannot speak highly enough of them and that is why I will never criticise them because their effort and their mentality is out of this world.”

For all that the garden appears rosy at present, Lennon knows more than anyone that at Celtic, a crisis can always be just around the corner. He also knows that his permanent appointment, and the nature of it in the showers of Hampden after the Scottish Cup was won in May, was not met with universal approval from the Celtic fanbase.

Those voices of dissent have dissipated of late, and Lennon believes he is winning the battle to silence his doubters as he adapts to the new demands that have come with being Celtic manager in the present-day game.

“I hope so,” he said. “You are never going to win everyone over. You just do the job the best you can and do it as conscientiously as you can.

“I’ve not really found it tough. I’ve got great backroom staff who work ever so hard.

“They should get as much credit as I do.”

One man who got a shedload of credit from observers both foreign and domestic in Copenhagen was striker Odsonne Edouard, who finished his goal in sumptuous fashion and proved a constant menace to the Danish side’s defence. But for an inspired display by goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson, he could have helped himself to a hat-trick. At least.

The one effort that did find the net, remarkably, was Celtic’s first knockout stage goal away from home since Henrik Larsson’s strike against Boavista back in 2003, but Lennon was quick to nip any comparisons between the Celtic strikers past and present in the bud.

“You can’t compare him to Henrik,” he said. “You can’t compare him to anybody. He’s his own individual. A real quality striker and I love working with him.

“There are things he does that makes your jaw drop. At times, he does things that are totally unexpected and it may prove to be a really important goal in Denmark.

“He doesn’t get disappointed if he misses. He waits for the next one and puts it away and I think his finishing has got a lot better over the past couple of years.

“That’s his 25th goal of the season and he’s a special player.”

And so, the relentless grind rumbles on, as Lennon puts the things he learned on the plane back from Copenhagen to use against Kilmarnock. He will hope to learn too today if captain Scott Brown will make the game, having been forced off in the Telia Parken with a calf strain.

“It’s against difficult opponents who probably had a bitterly disappointing night in midweek, but Alex (Dyer) has them playing pretty well,” Lennon said.

“They scored goals in midweek and they obviously beat Rangers. They are tough opposition and we will have to be very wary of them.

“We will have to see how the players are and we’ll get a good look at them on Saturday.

“I think they’ll be excited about the Kilmarnock game. That was a tough game in Copenhagen played at a very healthy tempo.

“I’m delighted we got the away goal and I think we could and should have scored more.”