NEIL LENNON will stay at Celtic to pursue his Champions League ambitions, his captain insisted last night after the Northern Irishman was linked with a switch to Norwich City in the summer.

Scott Brown said the speculation surrounding the Celtic manager in the wake of the sacking of Chris Hughton was to be expected. "It just shows you that he is a good manager and people want him," he said. "They might offer him the job, but the gaffer is huge at this club, he loves the club and that is the main thing that keeps him here."

Brown, speaking as Celtic announced that they would maintain the reduced season-ticket prices of last season, insisted: "Each to their own, but I think the club means so much to the gaffer that he will stay."

Loading article content

Norwich, meanwhile, yesterday confirmed the appointment of Neil Adams, the club's under-18 coach as manager but despite the public protestations by David McNally, their chief executive, it is believed Lennon remains on the East Anglian club's wish list.

McNally, a former marketing director at Celtic, said Adams would be given the chance to re-invigorate City with the club fighting for survival in the Barclays Premier League with five matches of the season remaining.

However, it is understood that the situation could be reviewed in the summer when the club's fate is known. "If the club stays in the top league it immediately qualifies for £60m of television money and it is difficult to see it entrusting that to a new manager," said one insider. "They could be prepared to look for someone with more experience and Neil Lennon comes far up that list."

Lennon played down such speculation during an appearance of Match of the Day 2 late on Sunday.

"It's always flattering to be linked with jobs," he said. "I think the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world but I don't want to be talking about that. I'm in a stable position at Celtic. The Scottish environment is obviously not as good as the English league. But I'm at a great club and it's a privilege to be their manager."

The Celtic manager has spoken of his desire to take the club back into the knockout stages of the Cham­pions League again and his captain said: "As soon as we were out of the tournament this season, he wanted us to focus on the league and cups, but he is already looking towards next season.

"I'm sure he'll be looking at players and what we can improve upon to get better and get back into the group stage. He wants to go again in the Champions League."