Celtic boss Neil Lennon remains coy about his chances of taking over at Norwich City

Celtic manager Neil Lennon talks to Leigh Griffiths during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture: PA Celtic manager Neil Lennon talks to Leigh Griffiths during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture: PA

Monday, April 7, 2014
1:28 PM

Celtic manager Neil Lennon did little to distance himself from potentially becoming the new permanent manager of Norwich City on national television last night.

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Profile - Neil Lennon

Age: 42

Playing Career: Combative midfielder, primarily for Crewe Alexandra, Leicester City and Celtic

International career: Northern Ireland (40 caps, two goals)

Honours: League Cup x2 (1997 and 2000), Scottish Premier League x5 (2001, 02, 04, 06, 07), Scottish Cup x4 (2001, 04, 05, 07), Scottish League Cup x2 (2001, 06)

Managerial career: Celtic (since 2010)

Honours: Scottish Premier League x3 (2012, 13, 14), Scottish Cup x2 (2011, 13)

The former Northern Ireland international midfielder was one of the guest pundits on Match of the Day Two, alongside former West Ham and Celtic striker John Hartson, who had a brief loan spell at Carrow Road at the end of his career.

The 42-year-old remained coy when host Mark Chapman suggested he was one of the men being suggested as a possible option for the Canaries in the summer, if Neil Adams can help them survive after Chris Hughton and his coaching staff were fired last night.

“I think they may have somebody lined up already,” Lennon said. “I don’t think they are going to take a scattergun (approach) to say ‘we’ve got nothing to lose’ in these last four games.

“The chief executive has already said it would be disastrous if they go down so they may have someone lined up, I’m not sure.”

Lennon, who has led Celtic to their third successive Scottish Premier League title, said he was surprised at the timing of the club’s decision to sack Hughton, with just five games of the season to go and five points above the relegation zone.

“The Premier League is the holy grail of English football, there’s no question about that and the rewards are great but that also brings its own huge pressures,” Lennon said.

“I’m sorry to see Chris go but it seems to have been bubbling under for quite a while. I think the timing, and you’re talking about Neil Adams coming in, for any manager coming into Norwich tonight whether a wealth of experience or a novice like Neil, it’s going to be a hugely difficult task.

“However, the expectation going into the last four games won’t be great so subconsciously it will bring the best out of the players.

“The Fulham game next week is huge and Fulham off the back of a great win against Villa will be buoyed, it’s not an easy place to go when Fulham’s tails are up, Craven Cottage, so Norwich really need to dig out a performance now.”

Those last four games are at home to Liverpool, before trips to Manchester United and Chelsea, then Arsenal at Carrow Road on the final day of the season.

Hartson, who played four game for City during the 2007/08 season, said of the decision: “I can understand it, slightly. The timing is horrendous but I can understand why they’ve got rid of Chris Hughton. His record is not particularly great, I think as well the board maybe have listened to a little bit of fan power and they’ve panicked.

“I agree that the timing, what on earth can the new manager do in five games, especially with their last four games?

“But you look at it and 25 per cent win percentage, he’s won 18 games in 71, so they’re entitled to make a change. The owners own the club and decide who the next manager is but the timing, I agree, is shocking.”

Would you like to see Lennon take over as manager if City can retain their top-flight status? Leave your comments below.

Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer.

Related links

Chris Hughton paid the price for his blind faith at Norwich City

Poll: Reaction floods in on Twitter to Chris Hughton’s sacking as Norwich City manager

Profile: New Norwich City manager Neil Adams – the man Glenn Roeder said would “never manage anything better than an under-10 team”

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18 comments

  • I am sure there was a posting too, but that is Archant for you, postings disappear without any explanation on here

    Report this comment

    Canaryinslovenia

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • I think Neil Lennon would be a great choice! He's good at motivating players, has a good scouting network and can get a proven players like wanyama for £300,000 and sell him for 12 million (an example of value). He knows how to get the best out of hooper and has European experience his unfancied Celtic team were 60 seconds from taking 4 points off Barcelona when they were best club team in the world in cl. He's passionate and prepared to give a youth a chance and knows how to get them to flourish.

    Report this comment

    ncfcchristof

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • What about mike phelan he could build a good team so the board could flog them all like they have always done

    Report this comment

    trev57

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Unlike Brewer, I think Lennon might make a good PL manager some day. But like Brewer and others, I don't think the day when our saviour is appointed to lead us out of the wilderness is the right day to speculate about his successor. Neil has had a good start.....not only were Sunderland beaten but their GD was given a sizeable dent. Only 2 goals better than Norwich now. A winning margin of 2 goals against Fulham and another Sunderland defeat at the weekend and we would have a better GD...which could be crucial in the final reckoning. A sudden bout of optimism.....better have a lie down.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • NO. I don`t think managing the only decent club in the SPL is a strong enough foundation for an EPL manager. Even Martin O`Neill didn`t do that well, though there may have been other reasons for that. Not sure I liked the cut of Lennon`s jib, either. Can`t quite put my finger on why. Btw, I liked your polite `correction` to Dubai`s belief that he `called` the dismissal of Hughton. Top man, you are, canaryinslovenia. I do a regular bet on NCFC jointly with a pal. We`ve had no luck at all this season, so we decided I`d place the bet instead of him - `to change our luck`. We still won zilch, but they sacked Hughton! That is good karma.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Lennon may go to the English Premiership one day, but not to a relegation threatened team like Norwich. Of course he's being coy. He doesn't want to upset anyone at Norwich by saying he wouldn't want to go there.

    Report this comment

    Alan Price

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Saw said interview and struck me that he wasnt ruling it out at all. Maybe not with NCFC as our future is unknown but certainly struck me that he was putting his name about for potential Premier League suitors. Not my cup of tea but understand why people would want him and wouldnt be against it should the board go in that direction. Lets just focus on Neil Adams and the lads who go out on that pitch saturday. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Hi , Mattias, yes - no distractions. Let Neil Adams find out which players are really up for it, will get out there and REALLY do their best, not just talk the talk. Slovenia - your posting was a `YES` to Lennon and a polite bit of advice to Dubai that he is `late getting to the party`. The impertinence; thinking he, and he alone `called` this event! Infamy! Infidelity! I wonder how Archant`s vetting system works - maybe randomly, like poor old Hoots` team selection and `tactics`.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Hard to see why Lennon is even in the frame for the City job. Managing Celtic in the SPL is hardly the same as the EPL. Tim Sherwood looks likely to be available at the end of the season. If City stay up, he has more experience than Lennon and he might,just might get this inept,spineless,lazy bunch of players earn their wages. Good to see that the players are all " behind " Adams. Shame they did not give CH the same loyalty.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • So, where`s canaryinslovenia`s post gone??

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • This is all for another day. A distraction. We should put it aside for now. There should be only one thing on everyone's minds: winning some football matches and getting the points we need to stay up. Everything else can come later. We'll have plenty of time in the summer to speculate!!!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • NO. I don`t think managing the only decent club in the SPL is a strong enough foundation for an EPL manager. Even Martin O`Neill didn`t do that well, though there may have been other reasons for that. Not sure I liked the cut of Lennon`s jib, either. Can`t quite put my finger on why. Btw, I liked your polite `correction` to Dubai`s belief that he `called` the dismissal of Hughton. Top man, you are, canaryinslovenia. I do a regular bet on NCFC jointly with a pal. We`ve had no luck at all this season, so we decided I`d place the bet instead of him - `to change our luck`. We still won zilch, but they sacked Hughton! That is good karma.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • That`s the way, Mattias. 5 games for Neil Adams to see if he can retrieve the situation, that`s all that matters just now. The players have to man-up. The fans will certainly be behind them - up to them to earn that backing with some real effort. Fulham is `winnable` (?). Possibly something off Ar$enal & ManU? A miracle vs Chelsea or Liverpool? 36 points might do it?? Fingers crossed. What happened to cis`s post??

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Totally agree Mad Brewer. I genuniely feel positive about NCFC for the first time in nearly 2 years. While I dont believe we will stay up (deep down) its certainly possible now. We all know what the score wouldve been at Fulham had Hughton still be in charge. Lets just hope this gamble pays off. Less of a gamble than sticking with Hughton in my eyes. Hopefully Neil is the man to step forward and make himself a hero. On a side note I hope it isnt Hucks assisting him like ive heard. Nothing against Hucks but it would take the attention off Adams & the team him being no2. Lets do this NCFC. If we go down, we do it fighting with our heads held high. Better that than slipping out just going through the motions under Hughton.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Lennon may go to the English Premiership one day, but not to a relegation threatened team like Norwich. Of course he's being coy. He doesn't want to upset anyone at Norwich by saying he wouldn't want to go there.

    Report this comment

    Alan Price

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • That`s odd. I`m sure there was a posting from canaryinslovenia, but it`s gone!! Surely Archie didn`t imagine something `offensive` in it? It was fine.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Matt, I've heard that "Cislo" is an effective product for "going through the motions".

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Lets hope we can go to Fulham and carve out something like a 2-0 win. That will be best way the players can send a strong message to Mr Hughton and his cronies. For me its such a shame he wasnt sacked after the Swansea game. If Adams had been on charge on Saturday vs WBA I am sure we would have experienced an even more electric and verocious home support plus a much more energetic performance from the players.

    Report this comment

    CanaryWest

    Monday, April 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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