Celtic have held back from sacking Neil Lennon as the board believe their is “no outstanding alternative” to their manager, Football Insider has learned.

This site exclusively revealed yesterday that the Hoops have no plans to dismiss the under-fire manager before the Old Firm crunch against Rangers on 2 January.

That was subsequently corroborated by Lennon himself, who revealed at his Friday mid-afternoon media conference he had been told earlier that day by Parkhead powerbrokers Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell he has their full support.

 

A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the board of directors do not believe there is a top-quality alternative available to replace Lennon.

Eddie Howe, who is out of work after his lengthy Bournemouth reign ended in Premier League relegation in July, has been mooted as a potential successor.

But he is not being considered by the Hoops hierarchy, who are putting their faith in Lennon’s experience of Scottish football.

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The plan is for the northern Irishman to remain in charge until at least the 2 January showdown at Ibrox.

Celtic host Ross County in the Betfred Cup tomorrow and then have four out of five home league games against St Johnstone, Kilmarnock, Ross County and Dundee United.

There’s a trip to Hamilton and a Scottish Cup final against Hearts before they go to Ibrox on January 2.

By comparison, Rangers have a tougher run of fixtures, many of them away from home, and Celtic chiefs believe they can narrow the gap over the next five weeks.

Lennon’s position has come under threat following a series of damaging results, including the 4-1 Europa League defeat on Thursday night that dumped the Hoops out of the Europa League.

Steven Gerrard’s side are 11 points clear at the Scottish Premiership summit after a remarkable start to the campaign.

Rangers are unbeaten in 22 matches in all competitions, but Celtic can narrow the league gap to five points if they win their two games in hand.

Lennon has won all domestic trophies available to him during his second spell at the club, including two league titles.

In other news, it can be revealed a £90million-plus Celtic fire sale is on the cards in January window.