Alex Neil, considered by Celtic before second Lennon appointment, enters job market

By John McGinley

March 21, 2021

A manager formerly linked with the Celtic post, Alex Neil, has re-entered the job market after leaving Preston North End today.

Preston had failed to win in five matches, losing four of those.

Yesterday, Luton Town visited Deepdale and left with a 1-0 victory, leaving Neil’s side 16th in the English Championship.

He’d been in charge for four years and found stability with the club, but never managed to inspire them to a promotion play-off run. However, he had been working with a limited budget and has his admirers.

That’s what he’d previously managed to do with Norwich City, earning them promotion to the English Premier League in 2015.

Before that Neil impressed at Hamilton Academical, also helping them to promotion and impressive Scottish Premiership form.

It seems inevitable that he will now be linked in some capacity to the current Celtic vacancy, either through a shortening of bookmakers’ odds or with formal reports.

As we discussed at the start of the month, former Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould has already touted him for the position after working with him as a coach previously.

Is Alex Neil exit relevant to Celtic right now?

Yes and no. Do I think Neil is the right choice to lead Celtic forward? Not really. I’ve got to believe there are better candidates out there.

However, we do know that he has his admirers at the club. Back in March 2019, The Daily Mail reported he was to be considered for the permanent position in the wake of Brendan Rodgers’ departure.

Former Preston boss Alex Neil / (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

We know now that Neil Lennon was eventually given the job, but who’s to say Celtic aren’t putting Neil in the great tombola labelled “Pick A Manager”?

I wouldn’t be surprised in honesty.

Though, as I say, we’ve got to keep the faith that we can bring in an elite-level manager. I’m not quite sure Neil fits the bill, despite obviously having had his successes in the past.

In other news, Martin O’Neill brilliantly terrorises Kris Boyd and James McFadden on Sky Sports.