NEIL Lennon admitted last night he is flattered to be linked with the manager's job at Barclays Premier League side Norwich City.

The Northern Irishman is understood to be on the Canaries' shortlist to replace Chris Hughton should the Irishman be unable to prevent the East Anglian outfit sliding into the relegation zone, although Hughton earned at least a partial reprieve yesterday when a late goal from Ryan Bennett gave Norwich a 1-0 win against Hull City.

With just five points separating the bottom half of the English top flight, Lennon, who was spotted at Craven Cottage in midweek as Fulham took on Norwich, said he was powerless to prevent the speculation, but insisted that for now there was a perfectly good manager in the job.

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"It's just speculation," said Lennon, "but I think they won today so I'm delighted for Chris, I think he'll be safe for another while. He's doing a good job there and keeping them out of the bottom three. I cannot help the speculation, I'm flattered, but he's a good man and a good manager in that job."

While Lennon also downplayed speculation linking the Parkhead club with Norwich's Scotland international Robert Snodgrass, Kris Commons - who scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season as Celtic beat Motherwell 3-1 yesterday - said he was desperate for his manager to stay, but insisted wider interest should only be expected in a manager who is one of the best in the United Kingdom.

"No [we don't want him to go anywhere]," Commons said. "But as you say, it is just speculation. The more we do, the more the manager is going to be linked with various jobs. It is probably the crunch time of the season when there are going to be ins and outs with managers at teams not performing as well. Our manager is certainly one of the best in the country, so he is going to be linked with many more, I think."

l Spurred on by Sherwood, page 13