An anticipated deal with Eddie Howe to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic Park – 96 days since his resignation – has fallen through despite an announcement promised by the club “shortly”.
A section of the club’s support has grown increasingly impatient and the club admitted there had been hope held that a new boss would be in place to launch the 2021-22 season ticket renewal package which was revealed this week.
However the delays should not be regarded as a worry, says McKinlay – no matter who takes over the hot-seat.
Speaking at the Premier Sports Cup draw, hours before news broke of the Englishman’s deal collapse, the former Scotland full-back said: “I don’t think [delays] will be damaging, though. He’ll have pre-season to work with the players and there are issues surrounding contracts and stuff.
“Whoever it is, there’s obviously going to be a big turnaround of players but that’s the nature of the beast at Celtic. You just need to get on with the job. Obviously, they had nine years of dominance and four trebles so they’ve got to try and get that back.
“Every Celtic manager is under pressure to get success and that’s the same for the players every time they cross that white line. Whoever is appointed will know the size of the club and what’s expected.”
As uncertainty increases over the manager’s position there too remains issues to be addressed in the playing staff with Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie all attracting interest – particularly from England.
McKinlay added: “There will be a turnaround of players but whoever gets the job will know what the club is capable of achieving.”
“The new man might come in and convince Ryan, Edouard or Ajer to stay.”
He also had praise for fellow full-back Greg Taylor, who is heading for the European Championships like McKinlay did in 1996.
“It’s a position I know. He’s come in and done very well and got himself into the Scotland squad. He’s going to the Euros so I think he’s done very well.”