Belfast Telegraph

Neil Lennon not ruling out Scotland as Rodgers backs him for job

 

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill didn't want the Scotland job but his old international comrade Neil Lennon says he's flattered to be linked with the post.

O'Neill rejected Scotland's approach to agree a four-year extension to his contract, leaving Hampden Park chiefs on the lookout for Gordon Strachan's successor. Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday suggested the Scottish FA should be looking to the Hibernian manager and Lennon refused to rule himself out of the running.

"I thought he was my friend!" the Lurgan man jokingly said of Rodgers' comments. "If an approach comes, and it's a huge if, then we will deal with it accordingly but until then there's no further comment. It's very flattering from someone of Brendan's stature in the game and I appreciate the sentiment, but I am the Hibs manager."

The job remains an attractive one in the eyes of Lennon after an improved World Cup qualifying campaign under Strachan before it ultimately ended in failure. "I'm not speaking from a personal point of view, but it's a great job," he said.

"I've said it before, but they should have kept Gordon on and there is progress being made. They targeted Michael and that has not come to fruition but I'm sure there will be plenty of other contenders for the job. It is a good job and there is no question of that."

Lennon, who takes his side to Celtic Park today, won three league titles as Hoops boss.

Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist said he would answer Scotland's call saying: "There might be one or two in front of me in the queue, but if your country comes calling, you never turn it down."

Meanwhile, Gers old boy Kyle Lafferty has been linked with a move to Sunderland but Hearts boss Craig Levein says there has been no bid for the Northern Ireland international.

“I don’t know anything about interest and I’ve certainly never had an offer from Sunderland,” said.

“It’s getting towards the end of the window — this happens every year.”

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson feels the club’s increased profile on and off the park can help him attract players in the final week of the transfer window.

The Ulsterman led Motherwell to the Betfred Cup final and they returned to the top half of the Ladbrokes Premiership in midweek.

He said: “We’re in a good position to attract players. We have been to a cup final so the profile of the football club has been raised.

“Even more so by our media department with their video. I’ve had loads of people getting in touch about it.

“They deserve a bit of credit, it was tongue in cheek, a bit of fun and very creative.”

Belfast Telegraph

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