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Celtic next manager odds: Eddie Howe odds-on favourite as Martin O'Neill also in frame while pressure grows on Neil Lennon after Livingston draw

 

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Eddie Howe worked wonders at Bournemouth (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Eddie Howe worked wonders at Bournemouth (Clive Brunskill/PA)

PA

Eddie Howe worked wonders at Bournemouth (Clive Brunskill/PA)

The pressure is once again mounting on Celtic manager Neil Lennon after his side failed to beat Livingston at home.

Saturday afternoon's result means the Hoops have won only eight of their last 20 fixtures in all competitions and will fall 23 points adrift if Rangers see off Motherwell on Sunday.

If, some may say when, the club and the current boss do part ways, just who might step into the Celtic Park hotseat?

Here's a look at the latest odds to become the club's next permanent manager:

1. Eddie Howe (4/9 favourite)

The former Bournemouth boss is still out of work after resigning from the Cherries following their relegation to the Championship last summer. He led the club to two promotions in three seasons, from League One to the Premiership, where they remained for five seasons with an all-time high finish of ninth in 2017. The 43-year-old's stock fell a little due to the relegation last year but, having recently been linked with Arsenal, there's little doubt he would be a signing to excite the Hoops support.

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A Betfair Spokesperson said: "In the past 24 hours we have seen a flurry of bets on Eddie Howe to become the next Celtic manager and have slashed his odds to 4/9. Aside from Howe, Martin O'Neil has also seen support from punters and he is currently the second favourite to take over at 7/2."

2. Martin O'Neill (7/2)

The former Northern Ireland international had been the favourite to take over when the pressure on Lennon peaked after his side's League Cup exit at the hands of Ross County at the end of November. O'Neill, of course, led the club to three league titles in five years as manager from 2000 to 2005. He has been out of management since June last year, when he was sacked by Nottingham Forest.

At 68, the former Northern Ireland captain may feel he has another job in him and with a return to his beloved Celtic on the cards, the self-confessed football romantic could well find the opportunity too hard to turn down.

3. Jack Ross (5/1)

The current Hibernian chief has his side third in the Scottish Premiership table and has already achieved success in Scotland. In 2018, he successfully guided St Mirren to the Championship title, crowned PFA Scotland Manager of the Year for his performance. He has also managed Alloa Athletic and Sunderland, whom he guided to the League One play-off final only to be beaten by Charlton.

4. Slaven Bilic (10/1)

A bit bizarrely, Slaven Bilic is 10/1 after being axed by West Brom last month. He was only appointed by Beijing Guoan 10 days ago so either the bookies are unaware or aren't ruling out a remarkably quick exit.

5. Damien Duff (14/1)

The former flying winner has no managerial experience but has been coaching since 2015. He began with Shamrock Rovers U15s, then moved on to work with the same age group at international level with the Republic of Ireland. He moved back to Rovers, this time as first team coach. He moved Celtic in 2019, initially as a reserve coach, although just a month later moved up to become part of Lennon's first team staff after Brendan Rodgers' departure.

That lasted until April last year, when he moved to become Steven Kenny's assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland national team. He stepped down that role last week and is now available.

The rest

Former Sunderland boss Roy Keane is also available at 14/1 while Celtic's current assistant boss John Kennedy is at 16/1. Other names already associated with the club are Gordon Strachan - 20/1 to return for a second stint in charge - and Henrik Larsson, the legendary striker also at 20/1 having previously managed Landskrona BoIS, Falkenberg and Helsingborg before moving to Ronald Koeman's coaching staff at Barcelona in August.


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