Alex Neil reveals why departed Celtic man Scott Sinclair didn't start for Preston

By David Walton

January 12, 2020

Preston North End manager Alex Neil has revealed why he didn’t start Scott Sinclair against Blackburn Rovers yesterday.

Sinclair left Celtic for the Championship club last week after only making seven appearances for the Hoops during the first-half of the season (Transfermarkt).

Scott Sinclair only came on for the final 10 minutes against Blackburn yesterday (Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Many Celtic fans were looking forward to seeing how he would do on his debut alongside the Preston faithful. Yet, yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn only saw Sinky come on for the final 10 minutes after initially starting the game on the bench.

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t make any impact after having such little time to do so. And, speaking to Preston’s official Twitter account after the match, Neil explained why he couldn’t just throw the Englishman in.

Sinclair should be fit enough to start regularly

The decision still seems an odd one from Neil. After all, Sinclair has been in an around our first-team squad all season, even if he hasn’t been a regular in the team. Fitness hasn’t been the problem with Sinclair at Parkhead, and it never has been.

The hesitancy in throwing him into Preston’s starting line-up wasn’t necessary. Had Sinclair started, Neil would’ve found that he could easily have lasted the 90 minutes.

Sinclair has been in and around the squad at Parkhead (Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

So it makes it even more bemusing that Neil believes he has to get Sinclair “up to speed”. That makes it sound as though Celtic haven’t been looking after him or keeping him fit during his time here. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

What remains intriguing is whether the move to Preston can bring a new lease of life for Sinky. He started incredibly well at Parkhead with a season that ended in him being named the Player of the Year. Hopefully, new surroundings can be just what he needs to rediscover that form.

Sinky didn’t have the time to make an impact yesterday (Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Preston’s next fixture is at home to Charlton Athletic on Saturday. Neil should do himself a favour and include Sinclair in the hope he’ll be able to inject them with the quality he showed at Parkhead during that 2016/17 campaign.

I’ll certainly be one of many Celtic fans who’ll be keeping tabs on the game to see whether he gets that first goal in Lancashire.