FORMER Celtic favourite Stiliyan Petrov has urged the club’s board to act quickly in appointing a new permanent manager, because the next incumbent will need time to rebuild his own squad.

Neil Lennon will attempt to deliver a third successive treble with victory over Hearts in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final after returning to the dugout on a temporary basis when Brendan Rodgers defected to Leicester City in February.

Lennon’s future remains uncertain, with a number of high profile names, including David Moyes, Rafa Benitez, Slaven Bilic and even Jose Mourinho, being linked with the vacancy.

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Four-time Scottish league winner, Petrov, a former team-mate of Lennon appreciates that the next manager will want to put their own stamp on the side.

However, with Celtic entering the Champions League qualifiers in the second week in July, the Bulgarian insists time is of the essence.

He said: “I think they have to make a quick decision. That will show they have a clear plan and that they know what they are going to do.

“Because if you look at it, Lenny will be losing a few important players from the team.

“There’s a lot of questions for Celtic and the European qualifiers come very early so they have to have a lot of answers by the time the season finishes.

“A quick and clear decision would give reassurance to the fans and to whomever gets the job that they will get the support and time to rebuild.

“Of course it’s difficult. I was part of the team when Gordon Strachan came and he made changes [following Martin O’Neill’s departure].

“The first year was difficult in terms of integrating. He managed to keep me at the club then brought [Shunsuke] Nakamura and [Maciej] Zurawski and in the second season we were very good because he was given time to put his plans in place.

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“That’s why it’s important they need to decide who takes over at Celtic and what direction they are taking the club.”

Lennon has accused a new generation of Celtic fans of being showing an "immaturity" over the criticism he has faced in the wake of the recent 2-0 defeat to Rangers.

The former Hibs boss launched an impassioned defence of his record as a Bhoys player and manager but Petrov insists the 47-year-old also has to consider whether he will get the support to integrate his own way of working.

He added: “Everyone is talking about whether Lenny will get the job but he has to analyse it and see if it’s a good job for him.

“It’s not just from the club’s side but for Lenny as well. Managers have different ways of working.

“Neil and Brendan are two completely different managers. They have different styles of football. Brendan spoiled the fans as the team played very good football.

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“Brendan built it very well and got in his own players who could fit his style.

“Neil Lennon is completely different and if he is to continue then they have to sit and analyse where the club is going.

“Neil Lennon also has a lot of questions to ask. Some fans are split but Lenny also has to see if it suits him and the way he works.”

Stiliyan Petrov was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.