Henrik Larsson ‘destined for greatness as manager’

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FORMER Hibernian and Helsingborgs goalkeeper Daniel Andersson has said that Henrik Larsson is destined for greatness as a manager.

And Andersson, who starred in Hibernian’s run to the 2004 Scottish League Cup final, revealed that Celtic went to great lengths to entice Larsson back to Glasgow after Neil Lennon’s departure.

Larsson, who had two spells as a player at Helsingborgs, signed a three-year deal as manager in November 2014, taking charge of his hometown team after catching the eye while managing Landskrona and Falkenberg.

HIF goalkeeping coach Andersson found his way into the headlines last week after an injury crisis forced Larsson to play the 42-year-old between the sticks in the season opener against Kalmar FF - four years after hanging up his gloves.

Regular goalkeepers Par Hansson and Matt Pyzdrowski are nursing a broken finger and ligament damage respectively, and Andersson has said that he is ready to step in again if needs be after helping Helsingborgs to a 0-0 draw.

But Andersson is keen to turn the spotlight onto Larsson, insisting his experience as a player at Europe’s top clubs will stand him in good stead for taking charge of a big team.

Henrik Larsson is destined for greatness, according to Daniel Andersson. Picture: Getty

Henrik Larsson is destined for greatness, according to Daniel Andersson. Picture: Getty

As a player, Larsson turned out for Feyenoord, Barcelona and of course Celtic.

And Andersson told Sky Sports: “I’m not surprised at how easily he has adapted to management because I have known Henrik for a while, but I think it’s quite clear that he’s going places.

“He comes into the job with massive experience of the game at the very highest level. He has the international experience and the first-hand understanding how to handle the pressure that comes with a job like being a coach at a top European club.

“It’s quite obvious that he is going places even as a coach. I would be very surprised if he is not contacted by some of the bigger clubs in Europe in the near future.”

Daniel Andersson starred as Hibs defeated Rangers on penalties in the League Cup semi final. Picture: Robert Perry

Daniel Andersson starred as Hibs defeated Rangers on penalties in the League Cup semi final. Picture: Robert Perry

And Andersson revealed that Celtic chartered a private jet and flew to Sweden in a bid to tempt Larsson back to Glasgow following Lennon’s exit.

“When you consider that last year Celtic took a private jet and flew over to Sweden to try and convince him to come to Celtic I think that says it all really,” Andersson continued.

“Everyone knows how he is thought of at Celtic. They even print jerseys with ‘God, 7’ on the back. I think a lot of Celtic supporters think Henrik is one of the best players that they have ever had there.

“But Henrik is very humble and he’s not the type of guy that brags even though he knows what he did there. I played against him when I was at Hibs so I know what it’s all about. I know how big Henrik was out there at Celtic but he never speaks about it in those terms.”

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