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Brian Easton sure Eddie Howe could cope with Old Firm pressure as Celtic boss

Soccer – Pre Season Friendly – Oldham Athletic v Burnley – Boundary Park
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Brian Easton believes Eddie Howe would cope with the Old Firm environment if he takes over at Celtic.

The Parkhead club are understood to be in talks with the former Bournemouth boss about occupying the managerial hotseat vacated by Neil Lennon in February when rivals Rangers shortly before stopped the Hoops winning a 10th successive Scottish Premiership title.

Easton played under Howe at Burnley before he returned to the Cherries in October 2012 for a second spell as manager which ended last August.

The Hamilton skipper knows what awaits the 43-year-old if he moves to Glasgow, where expectations are always high and patience usually low, and the onus on the next Celtic manager is to wrest the title back from Rangers.

Easton said: “If you are not brought up with it or not involved with it as a player or coach, I don’t think you can prepare yourself for it really.

“I don’t think it will overwhelm him or anything but I am sure if you asked Steven Gerrard about it he probably couldn’t have prepared himself fully for what the Old Firm and Scottish football was like.

“But I don’t think it will be a problem to manage that, though.

“I thought he was great. He was still pretty new to management, he hadn’t been in it too long when he came to Burnley but looking at his interviews and clips of him coaching, it doesn’t seem like he has changed much.

“He had a really good temperament. He wouldn’t lose the plot or anything like that but he wouldn’t mess about.

“If you needed that arm around the shoulder he would give it to you but he was always straight down the line.

“I think he backed it up with the way he coached. If he was telling you things weren’t good enough he would stay with you after training and work on a few things with you and he had a good coaching team behind him.

“So he is a hands-on coach and a good man manager, I think he is very good.”

Easton believed the arrival of Howe would be another boost for the Scottish game.

The former Dundee and St Johnstone defender said: “He is still a young manager but a manager of his calibre coming up to Scotland will be good for the game and good for Celtic.

“I love Scottish football, it is a great product and probably doesn’t get the recognition it deserves and when it gets managers like Steven Gerrard and possibly Eddie Howe coming in, and bigger players, it maybe validates it a bit more.

“That is something I like to see and it is good for the game to have these sort of guys around.”