"Listen," he told the Sunday Mail, "I have my own ways of dealing with things and the main one is not being affected by the fantasy pressure. That would send you crazy.
"But dealing with reality is easy.
"It's someone who's sitting with his tracksuit on, his devil dug at his side and a can of Kestrel in his hand, maybe coked up to his eyeballs, shouting down the phone.
"I'm not answering to that. I'm not answering a question from Mr Ned.
"I've proved I can manage a team at the bottom of the league - I saved Coventry when I was there.
"At Southampton we were second bottom and I took them into Europe, to an FA Cup Final and as high as fourth in the Premiership.
"Now I've come here. I don't think anyone can ask if I can handle pressure. I've been dealing with it all my life as a penalty taker, a captain, a professional player.
"It's different if people ask how good you are, but whether you can handle it? No-one with intelligence would ask that question.
"Thankfully, though, that doesn't reflect on most Celtic fans. When I meet people they're always pleasant."