Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Lennon is set to lose out: Collins

John Collins has played down his chances of being appointed Celtic manager, and also cast doubt on Neil Lennon's hopes of landing the job.

Former Parkhead midfielder and Hibernian boss Collins, 42, has been out of work since leaving Charleroi last summer.

“There's a big job in Glasgow, but I would imagine they would be going for somebody a bit more experienced than myself,” Collins said. “But it is a big job for somebody, a big challenge.”

Lennon was named interim boss last month following Tony Mowbray's sacking and although he has won all four of his league games in charge, Celtic suffered a shock Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County.

“That was the one that was a poor defeat and a poor performance, but he has had four league victories on the bounce, so you never know,” said Collins.

“If he goes from now until the end of the season winning every game, he might have a chance.”

If Lennon were to miss out, Collins believes Celtic will struggle to tempt anyone from the Barclays Premier League or any top-class manager.

“I think they have got to be realistic now,” Collins said.

“I don't think they are going to pull anybody away from the Premiership in England.

“There has been talk of Mark

Hughes, who I think would be a good choice — I think he is a terrific manager. But I am sure Mark Hughes would prefer to stay in the English Premiership.

“Do they go for a foreign manager? It is always an option, but it is a tough one.

“Are the big boys going to want to go to Glasgow? I don't think so.”

Meanwhile, Paddy McCourt will start talks about a new contract at Celtic this summer, according to his agent.

McCourt, who moved from Derry City two years ago has one season left on his existing deal.

Agent Gerry Carlile said: "We'll start negotiations about a new deal once the season ends and see what Celtic have to offer."

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