“The way he prepares his teams, is impeccable,” former Celt talks up Preston boss as Petrescu delivers Celtic Update

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The Celtic Star

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Former Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould has been talking up Celtic’s potential managerial candidate Alex Neil. The Preston manager was apparently the alternative to candidate back in May 2019 and had Neil Lennon lost out in the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts then the former Hamilton boss may well have been given the nod.

Ironically enough one of his major rivals for the Celtic job this around is Scotland manager Steve Clarke who was in the frame after Neil Lennon decided to leave Celtic at the end of the 2013-14 season, after securing 3IAR. Clarke missed out to Norwegian project Ronny Deila who had initially been interviewed for the Assistant manager’s job.

Even then the Boardroom decisions at Celtic were flawed, not allowing a manager to select his own backroom staff. Did Ronny Deila, John Collins and John Kennedy have any sort of relationship or knowledge about each other’s attributes before starting to work together as the Celtic management team?

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“I was the goalkeeping coach with Tony Pulis at West Brom in the Premier League for three years and then I did 18 months with him at Middlesbrough. But my family and I were all set to come back to New Zealand in 2019,” Gould told Glasgow Times.

“Then I got a phone call from Peter Ridsdale (the Preston owner) and Alex Neil. Alex is someone I had seen from a distance in his work at Norwich and Hamilton.

“I thought he had done a great job. I was intrigued enough to go and work with him. I had a fabulous 12 months with Alex at Preston. I really enjoyed it and loved the way he worked,” the former Celtic keeper continued.

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“Alex’s detail, the way he prepares his teams, is impeccable. I have had the privilege of working with a lot of good managers as a player and as a coach. Alex is one of the few coaches who can come up with his strategy on a Monday and can translate that onto a football field on a Saturday.

“He doesn’t do it just by using a whiteboard or a power point, he does by coaching the lads from Monday to Friday. It is quite a rare quality. It says a lot about him as a student of the game and how much he thinks about football. He has got a certain quality that has seen him be successful.

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“He has done remarkable jobs with all of the clubs he has been at. I think he is well suited at some point, although I am sure Preston North End won’t be happy to lose him, to work at a big club. He has got that in him somewhere down the line.

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Meanwhile the former Cluj manager Dan Petrescu has revealed that he would be unable to take a new job until at least the summer after ending his stint in Turkish football abruptly. Speaking to the Romanian Media site DigiSport Petrescu explained his current situation after his departure from Turkish club Kayserispor for unspecified personal reasons.

“I had a personal problem and had to leave, unfortunately,” the former Cluj boss explained. “I can’t coach for a while, after I solve my issue I will look to coach again. The owner (Berna Gozbasi) tried to convince me to stay but she understood after I told her what the problem was.

“I got along very well with her and I’m sorry I couldn’t finish what she started.

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“I’m glad I left them in a better position than when I went there. I think this is the last time I go to a team in a relegation battle because it is a very difficult challenge,” Petrescu continued. “Even if we had 10 more points I’d have made the same decision. We got along very well, she gave me free reign in the transfer window.

“Even if Celtic were to call me I couldn’t coach now. I can say it’s 99 per cent certain I won’t be with any club until the summer.”