Petrov fears O'Neill exit
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stilian Petrov admits it will be a difficult experience to see Martin O'Neill leave Celtic.Stilian Petrov admits it will be a difficult experience to see Martin O'Neill leave Celtic if, as expected, he steps down following the Scottish Cup final.
O'Neill is widely anticipated to call it a day at Celtic Park as he takes a break from football to care for his sick wife at the end of the season.
Such a move would bring down the curtain on a special relationship with the club and fans after he has brought them three SPL titles and to the brink of European glory in the Uefa Cup final.
The former Leicester boss could be looking to go out on a high by winning the cup, although the imminent end of his reign will have been tainted by the last gasp defeat to Motherwell which gifted arch-rivals Rangers the title on Sunday.
Petrov wished O'Neill well for the future, and all but conceded that his boss will leave The Bhoys once the outstanding issue of the cup has been dealt with.
"We have seen all the stuff in the papers," said Petrov.
"The gaffer has been great in his time with Celtic, with us and with the fans.
"It will be hard to see him go but everyone knows the reason.
"I hope everything goes well for him and his family but, at the end of the day, it is his decision and he knows what is best for him and his family."
Celtic team-mate Jackie McNamara also opened his heart about the current turmoil at the Scottish giants, and voiced his shock at the events on Sunday that saw The Gers crowned Champions in the last two minutes of the campaign.
"The whole picture has changed for us all, there is no point in denying that," said McNamara.
"To be honest, I can't put into words how low I am at the moment.
"I just can't describe my feelings, I am numb to be honest with you. I don't know if it has even properly sunk in yet.
"Fortunately, we have a couple of days off to spend in different surroundings and, hopefully, by the middle of the week we will be ready to bounce back from what's happened.
"Everyone has taken it very badly, as you would expect, but we can't afford to feel sorry for ourselves because there is an absolutely massive game coming up for us now on Saturday, and one that we absolutely have to win."
The developments surrounding O'Neill could also have consequences for transfer target Mo Camara, as the former Burnley man admitted that his potential free transfer move was now in jeopardy.
"I haven't spoken to Martin, but I believe there has been some contact between Celtic and my agent," Camara told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.
"Nothing will happen yet because Celtic have an important cup game coming up to concentrate on, but they are a massive club and if you are asked to join them, you take that chance.
"However, they also have an issue with their manager and that could complicate matters, so I need to wait and see what happens."