By Marcus ChhanFollow @@MarcusChhan
Johnson's staunch defence of Neo came in the wake of Tuesday's crushing 63-53 defeat to the Indonesia Warriors which ended Singapore hope of reaching the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Playoffs.
It is the second straight ABL season the Slingers have failed to reach the post-season under Neo, although the Singaporean did steer the club to the semi-finals in his debut campaign at the helm.
The popular Singaporean has been with the Slingers since 2006 as an assistant coach before stepping up for the team when head coach Frank Arsego left in 2010.
Neo is on a year-to-year contract with the Singapore outfit, but Johnson has moved early and strongly to quash any talk of him not returning to guide the team in the ABL next season.
"Neo has been fantastic. He took over when Frank left and I haven't regretted it one second," Johnson said.
"He has been fantastic. Forget the record, as a coach he is working under a lot of adversity plus with our focus on the national team - and he is the national team coach as well - I think he has done a fantastic job, and he has learned over these years and he's only going to develop more."
Johnson added: "While I am here, he should be our coach."
In truth, much of the Slingers' fans ire at the team has been reserved for the organisation's philosophy of signing only four imports - two World Imports and two ASEAN Imports - and not directed towards the sidelines at Neo.
The ABL allows teams to have two World Imports and three ASEAN Imports as well as a special exception Heritage Player.
However, the Slingers admirable focus on giving local players extended minutes throughout the ABL season mean they will not look to fill five of their starting spots with imports - this will not change next year or the year after that.
Neo, who is also Singapore's national team coach, remains a big supporter of this futuristic plan to develop local talent even if it makes his task with the Slingers in the present more difficult when his compatriots do not step up to the ABL's mark.
"He's a Singaporean, he's a fantastic guy, and he loves the programme, and he loves basketball," Johnson said of coach Neo.
"He does things that no other coach I know would do - and that includes the grunt work like filling bottles or whatever that needs to be done. There's no prima donna about him at all. He's a down to earth guy and a great players' coach.
"I have an undying respect for him. He will be our coach next year."
The Slingers finish the 2013 ABL regular season at 7-15 and lose out on the fourth and final Playoff spot to the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers.