TWO former Celtic title winners have backed Eddie Howe to be a success at the Hoops – IF he agrees to become Neil Lennon’s successor.
Reports indicate the Parkhead club have made contact with the former Bounemouth gaffer who has been out of work since August 2020 after quitting the south coast club following relegation from the Premier League.
Howe, who spent eight years at the Vitality Stadium, is understood to be considering a number of options as he prepares to return to football.
The Hoops hierarchy are believed to be impressed with the 43-year-old who has emerged as a frontrunner for the role.
John Kennedy has been in iterim charge since Lennon departed in Febriuary ans is preparing the team for their opening defence of their Scottish Cup against League One leaders Falkirk at Parkhead tomorrow night.
Former stalwarts Paul Lambert and Alan Stubbs, who were part of Wim Jansen’s line-up that halted Rangers’ bid for 10 in a row in 1998, are united in their belief Howe could be a success at their old club.
FLAG HAPPY…Paul Lambert, flanked by Murdo MacLeod and Henrik Larsson, jumps for joy as Celtic seal the 1997/98 title.
Lambert, who left as Ipswich boss earlier this year, told Sky Sports: “I think whoever goes into Celtic has a big job on their hands. It’s a fantastic football club, it’s worldwide and has pressures with it.
“If Eddie does get the job, I think it’s a good fit. He will know he has to win games, you don’t get away with many draws.
“There are loads of candidates out there to get what is an incredible job, but whoever gets it knows they have to win every week.
“It wouldn’t matter that Howe isn’t a fan of the club; as long as Celtic fans see the team winning. You won’t get given a year or two of grace, you have to win, but that’s the nature of the club and that’s what makes it a special club.
“Anyone who has managed or played there will tell you the same.
“It doesn’t matter if Barcelona or Bayern Munich come to town, you have to win. But whoever gets it right there, will be in for a great, great time. If you finish second, it’s virtually last and the Celtic fans will let you know.”
PRIZE GUYS…Alan Stubbs holds aloft the trophy after the 2-0 win over St Johnstone to seal the title. Craig Burley, Marc Reiper (half-hidden), Phil O’Donnell, Enrico Annoni and Jonathan Gould join in.
Former central defender Stubbs added: “Celtic have a real challenge on their hands and the appointment is so important. Looking at all the candidates that are there right now, Eddie Howe jumps out as the best one for it.
“I think he’s a very good coach. At the moment, with the list of names that are there, Eddie Howe would be the one for me.”
Celtic are also looking to fill another vacancy within their football department in the coming weeks, after Head of Football Operations Nick Hammond resigned earlier this week.
The club is set for an extensive summer overhaul on a number of levels. Captain Scott Brown will leave for a player-coach role with Aberdeen at the end of the season, while Peter Lawwell will step down as chief executive at the end of June to be replaced by Dominic McKay, who will arrive from the Scottish Rugby set-up.