Alex Neil wants to stay at Preston despite Celtic interest

By David Walton

April 4, 2019

Reported Celtic managerial candidate Alex Neil has confirmed he’s set to stay at Preston North End.

The former Hamilton Accies and Norwich manager has been linked with the Hoops since Brendan Rodgers’ departure. There have been no further reports of any contact between the club and Neil since.

Neil Lennon is currently in the role between now and the end of the season. It’s reasonable to conclude that his prospects of getting the job permanently are nailed on if he wins the treble.

Alex Neil has been in charge at Preston for nearly two years (Andrew Kearns – CameraSport via Getty Images)

And, at a fans’ forum reported by Lancashire Post, Neil confirmed he’s making plans for next season with no intentions of leaving Deepdale.

“I have got no intention of going anywhere else. I speak to Peter Ridsdale all the time about what we are doing here.

“There have been no discussions with any other club. My sole focus is on Preston and we are making plans for next season.”

Not the right time for Neil and Celtic to join up

Neil still has plenty of convincing to do before he would become suitable for the Parkhead job. Despite impressively promoting Hamilton Accies to the Scottish Premiership and promoting Norwich City to the English Premier League, he’s had his downsides too.

His Norwich side only lasted one year in the Premier League before dropping right back down. Since then, he’s taken over Preston and has them in an underwhelming 10th in the Championship.

Neil’s best period as a manager came at Norwich City (Harry Trump/Getty Images)

His managerial CV screams Tony Mowbray at the moment. And until Celtic should be convinced, Neil has to add more to it before being considered for the Parkhead role.

It seems as though his comments put an end to any speculation regardless. That’s a good thing for the Hoops, who have to look to aim higher in the bid for 10-in-a-row.

Should Neil take his stock up a notch or two in a few years’ time, perhaps this is something that can be revisited. Until then, Celtic likely won’t make a move.