Kevin Phillips has backed Neil Lennon as a Celtic legend but claimed Eddie Howe could be a good fit for the hot seat.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England striker and former Derby County and Stoke City coach explained how he admired Lennon’s passion and love for the Hoops.

The Celtic board have stood by Lennon despite the 10-in-a-row tilt spectacularly unravelling and the campaign littered with calamities on and off the field.

Former Bournemouth manager Howe has been strongly linked with the manager’s job in recent months, starting in November when speculation over the northern Irishman’s future began to intensify.

But he was not considered at that point by the Hoops hierarchy, who put their faith in Lennon’s experience of Scottish football.

The board have continued to stand by the manager amid ever-growing calls from supporters for widespread changes on and off the pitch.

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On Friday, bookmakers even suspended the betting market on Howe to be next manager of Celtic.

“Fair play to Lenny, he has come out and backed his players, himself and his beliefs – he deserves credit for that,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“He is a fiery, passionate character who loves that football club. I respect him for backing his players and his opinion.

“Whether they were right to go to Dubai, I’m not sure. They paid for the trip to Dubai with the Covid cases.

“Eddie Howe is getting linked with his job fairly heavily now. He’s available and has a good reputation. He could be a good fit.

“Would he take it now? I’m not so sure. It has been such a disappointing season.” 

In other news, a £500,000 bid has been tabled for Celtic target as they work on English-club signing.