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Championship candidates dismiss Celtic talk

Roy Keane and Billy Davies have distanced themselves from speculation suggesting they could take charge of Celtic next season.

Tom Boyd supports Neil Lennon

Tony Mowbray left Celtic Park in March after just nine months in the job. Neil Lennon has taken temporary charge until the end of the season but, following the shock Scottish Cup defeat to Ross County, it is thought his hopes of taking the job on a permanent basis had dwindled.

Ipswich boss Keane, who played for Celtic in 2006, had been linked with a return but he has backed Lennon to get the nod.

"I'd be very surprised if you saw me walking through Celtic Park," he said in the Irish Examiner. "I might get there in a few weeks to watch the Old Firm, but that's about it.

"My new house is nearly ready and I'm focused on my job here. It's dangerous to even comment on other jobs, but I'm very happy here - my family are - we're moving into a new house.

"I've got staff who have moved to the area. They have committed with their families. I came here to do a job and I'm determined to do it and, please God, I get that opportunity."

He added: "Celtic are a bigger club than anyone will ever understand unless they've been involved there. I was there for six months and I had my problems with a few injuries, plus the manager didn't really pick me. The sheer size of the club is staggering.

"Neil has made that point and I couldn't agree more. Hopefully they will get the right manager and I have to say Lenny is doing well. He's won four league games but I know they lost in the Scottish Cup. They're having disappointments but that's when you find out who the real supporters are."

Nottingham Forest boss Davies, meanwhile, spent time with arch-rivals Rangers as a player, but speculation heightened when his advisor, Jim Price, said he would not rule out a move on that basis and would consider his future in the summer if an approach was made.

However, Davies has now denied suggestions he could look to return to his native Glasgow at the end of the season.

"I have made it clear in the past what my position is," he told the Nottingham Evening Post. "I have signed a contract here at Forest and the fact that I have two years remaining on that tells you that I still have a job to do here. It is like everything else, we deal with speculation constantly."

He added: "My future is not in doubt. I am not considering my future."

Former Celtic midfielder John Collins, who has managed Hibernian and Charleroi, believes he is not among the contenders for the role.

"There's a big job in Glasgow but I would imagine they would be going for somebody a bit more experienced than myself," he said.

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