Preston boss Alex Neil hails Scott Sinclair as he finally finds his feet after Celtic departure

By David Walton

September 7, 2020

Preston boss Alex Neil believes that Scott Sinclair is finally finding his feet after leaving Celtic in January.

Neil Lennon allowed the Englishman to leave Parkhead at the start of 2020 after making a brilliant 167 appearances and bagging 62 goals for the Bhoys (Transfermarkt). Sinclair also won every single domestic competition on offer during his time in Scotland.

However, life at Preston hasn’t gone as well as he may have hoped. Sinclair spent the second half of last season making 18 appearances and only netting three goals, with no assists to his name either. He found himself on the bench for the final six games of the season and didn’t even get on the pitch for the last two.

Scott Sinclair has found things tough at Preston so far (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

But pre-season has been a different story this term. His goal against Salford City has provided him with a platform to burst into life at Deepdale and produce a flurry of impressive displays over the last six games. His manager appears to be delighted too.

As quoted by Lancs Live, Neil said: “I think what he’s starting to do now Scott, is he’s starting to show everybody what he can do on a regular basis more and more. He’s a constant threat, and he’s just a good player isn’t he?

“It ways always going to be tough moving away from Celtic and coming down to Preston. With the exposure you get up there and playing in a team that is dominant every single week, to then come to a team who needs to fight, scrap and bite for everything they get.

“So yeah, I think it was just a transition thing and that he’s finding his feet now.”

Sinclair’s sudden dip at Parkhead was unforeseen

Sinclair’s first year at Celtic Park was total dynamite stuff. The former Man City man won the Player of the Year award and looked like being a hero in Glasgow for years to come.

The Englishman’s second campaign saw a slight dip in form, but he still bagged a total of 18 goals and 17 assists – leading to a fine total of 35 direct goal contributions in 55 appearances (Transfermarkt).

Yet in his third year everything changed. Sinclair looked hesitant when it came to beating his man, and started to easily get brushed off the ball. His control seemed to take a dip too, whilst his finishing ability had also drained.

Scott Sinclair at his peak with Celtic (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

His move to Preston clearly saw a continued depreciation in performance levels, and the winger will forever be a mystery when it comes to why he couldn’t hit the heights of his 2016/17 exploits under Brendan Rodgers.

It’s great to see him hitting his stride again with Preston and getting back on the scoresheet. He deserves more than to see the twilight years of his career fade away without achieving anything notable during them.

Hopefully the treble-treble winner can rise again this season and show everyone what he’s capable of. Yet it will always be a pity that he never managed to find that level again at Celtic Park.

In other news, the Celtic supporters have been rallying round one of Neil Lennon’s summer signings after a disappointing week.