Ex-Canaries' chief touted with Celtic job

Former Norwich City and current Preston chief Alex Neil is being touted with the West Brom job Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Former Norwich City and current Preston chief Alex Neil is being touted with the West Brom job Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Preston boss and former Norwich City manager Alex Neil is being linked with the vacancy at Scottish giants Celtic.

Neil has guided Preston to the fringes of the Championship play-offs and his work on limited resources has reportedly impressed Celtic chiefs as they step up the search for Brendan Rodgers’ long term replacement.

Neil Lennon has taken temporary charge of the Parkhead club but the Daily Mail claim Celtic could make a summer move for Neil.

The 37-year-old was a surprise choice for the Carrow Road hot seat back in 2015, when he moved south from Hamilton, but memorably guided Norwich to the Premier League via the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Neil was unable to keep City in the top flight and was dismissed after failing to repeat his promotion success, although the Scot inflicted a rare league defeat on his old club last month.

Preston drew 1-1 at home to Bristol City on Saturday and Neil’s priority is getting North End in the promotion shake up.

“We are still in the hunt, that is something I made clear to the players in the dressing room afterwards,” he said, speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post.

“We are still in there, it is really tight with 11 games to play.

“If someone had told us nine games ago we would be in this position, no one would have believed them.

“Let’s hope that in another nine games time we are still saying the same thing and are really close to the play-offs.

“It would be great to have that opportunity going into the last couple of games.

“What we want to do is keep the season alive, that is the most important thing.”

The Scot admitted after beating Norwich 3-1 he made mistakes in his time with the Canaries.

“I said before and I stand by it, I have no grievance whatsoever with Norwich. Delia sent me a lovely note after the game down there this season wishing me all the best and different things,” he said.

“I made a lot of good friends down there. I got very close to Delia and Michael and I was thankful for the opportunities I got and I understand the nature of football.

“I took them up, we couldn’t stay up and I was never going to be afforded the time if I couldn’t bring them back up that season. So the fact of the matter was someone else was handed the reins and they were going to be afforded the time.

“That happened to be Daniel and they have performed really well this season.

“Daniel was under pressure when we went there but he has turned it around and the one thing I do know is if you win games the fans down there will get behind you.

“Norwich will be there or thereabouts.”

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