Ex-Bournemouth player claims Eddie Howe appointment would be 'absolutely ideal' for Celtic

Former Bournemouth defender Simon Francis has claimed that Eddie Howe would be an “absolutely ideal” managerial appointment for Celtic.

Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian Walton/Pool via Getty Images)

Howe took charge of over 450 matches over the course of two spells on the south coast, and Francis was an integral member of the contingent that he guided from League One to the Premier League during that time.

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Speaking to Sky Sports’ Football Show, the 36-year-old was in little doubt that his old boss is the right man to get the Bhoys back on track next season, should his be confirmed in Glasgow.

He said: “It's a huge job, and a huge opportunity for him, if that is his preferred destination.

"I think the time away has done him the world of good. I think he’s now realised that he is hungry and more determined to go back in.

"It was always going to be a bigger club than Bournemouth – that’s no disrespect to the club but we were punching well above our weight in the Premier League for a number of years. He was always going to make that step up to a huge club. While we were doing really well in the Premier League, there was obviously links with some top teams.

"For him now to be looking at the likes of Celtic, it’s hard to say it’s a perfect fit because there are no guarantees in football, but for me it would be absolutely ideal.

"The chance for him to start fresh, he’d have time on his side in the summer to get to know the players and work out where he needs to strengthen, and then he’d have to hit the ground running.

"There’s pressure up there, a different kind of pressure than there was at Bournemouth. It’s a different kind of pressure, but one I think he will relish and be ready for.”

Francis went on to give an insight into Howe is like as a manager.

He added: “He’s a great man first and foremost. He’s not just going to turn up on the training field and be that manager or that coach that sometimes you see.

"He is very personable, he’s welcoming. You can go and see him with any kind of off-field problems that you may have. He's very open.

"For me, he’s the best coach and manager I played with, easily. His ability to improve players day in, day out is second to none.

"He’s the first in in the morning, he’s the last to leave as well, which means he puts in a lot of ours at a high intensity, and he’s always wanting to improve the squad that he has, and that’s why we reaped the rewards that we did, coming from League One and still having a similar squad in the Premier League. He was the catalyst for that.

"For me, he’d be an excellent fit there.”

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