herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Lennon hopes Michael stays on

Michael O'Neill
Michael O'Neill

Neil Lennon hopes his former Northern Ireland team-mate Michael O'Neill stays in the Windsor Park hotseat but feels the Scotland job would be far more tempting than an offer from Sunderland.

The Hibernian head coach said: "From a Northern Ireland perspective, it's not great. Michael has a bit of thinking to do. His stock is very high. He's worked miracles with the squad he has had and maybe, I don't know if he thinks it's a glass ceiling with Northern Ireland. Only Michael can answer that.

"It doesn't surprise me Scotland are in for Michael. He lives in Edinburgh, he knows the environment very well, he has played in Scotland. He is a very astute, shrewd guy.

Intelligent

"I don't know if he wants another stint at international level or if he leaves Northern Ireland he would go into club management, but I can see why Scotland have an interest in him. From a Northern Ireland perspective, we want him to stay, because he's the king there."

Lennon added: "He was always intelligent, well-educated, and a very good footballer. I went to visit him when he was the manager of Shamrock Rovers and he did some great things there and he took that on."

When asked whether a move to Hampden would be better than a new role in the Sky Bet Championship, Lennon said: "If you're talking about Sunderland, then yeah, the Scotland job would be far more attractive."

Another Northern Irishman managing in Scotland, Brendan Rodgers, feels no-one in his native land would begrudge O'Neill a fresh challenge. The Celtic boss said: "If he came out of Northern Ireland there is no-one, Northern Irish or anyone, would hold anything against him with that, because he has devoted his life to there. I was really gutted for him and the players."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News