Date: 24th November 2007 at 10:59am
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In a long and illustrious career, Neil Lennon has done it all in footballing terms and according to the player, it’s thanks to the Crewe maestro Dario Gradi.

Lennon was released by Man City as a kid and picked up by Gradi at Crewe. He spent 5 years at Gresty Road, where he developed his reputation as a no nonsense, tough in the tackle midfielder. Speaking to the Nottingham Evening Post he said. ‘I had a great time there under Dario and it moulded my career. It gave me first team experience and I learned a lot from it. I learnt a few things at Manchester City – the basics of football – but it was Dario who educated me, as I was maturing as a young professional. But he has done that for numerous players really, the list is like a Who’s Who of players. Many people he took on went on to have good careers.’

The list of players who have Gradi to thank is indeed like a list from Who’s Who. It includes the likes of Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Robbie Savage and also the one and only David Platt. Although Gradi has supposedly moved upstairs in a Director of Football capacity he’s still hands on in terms of the running of the team, although Steve Holland is manager.

As much as Lennon may admire Gradi, he only has one aim in the game today and that’s to try and help take three points off his mentor. ‘Psychologically it would be a big step for us to go top and we have been there or there abouts for a while now,’ he said. We have been close for about a month.’

The big question for Lennon now though, is whether he will regain his place in the lineup after his time out to resolve family problems back in Scotland. They are sorted now and it’s back to business for the former Northern Ireland international.