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Page last updated at 19:48 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 20:48 UK

Duffy doubts Coyle's credentials

Owen Coyle
Coyle has a big decision to make regarding his future

Jim Duffy is surprised that Celtic are pursuing Burnley manager Owen Coyle.

"I know Owen very well. He's got great enthusiasm and he's done magnificently at Burnley," said the Brechin boss, who started his playing career at Celtic.

"But I think it's too soon for him to go to a club like Celtic. I don't think he has enough experience.

"He's only managed St Johnstone for a short term and Burnley for a short term, although it has all been positive for him."

Celtic have made Coyle, 42, their top target to replace Gordon Strachan, who stood down on Monday after four years in charge of the Glasgow club.

However, Burnley have just been promoted to the English top flight for the first time in 33 years and the Lancashire outfit are desperate to hold on to the man who got them there.

Despite his reservations about Coyle's suitability for Celtic, Duffy thinks the Turf Moor club are fighting a losing battle.

"If Owen has been offered the (Celtic) job, I can't see any way on earth he would turn it down," he continued on BBC Radio Scotland.

"I think the lure of managing his boyhood heroes will be too strong for him, regardless of Burnley being in the Premier League.

"You cannot compare the clubs. Celtic are globally respected, with a fabulous history and an incredible fan base around the world.

Owen is media friendly but that's not important, the bottom line is about being successful on the pitch

Jim Duffy

"Burnley could throw millions of pounds at him but, if Celtic come calling, he won't pass up the chance.

"He regretted not having played there. He doesn't want the same regrets about managing them.

"If he comes to Celtic and does well, of course the English Premier League will welcome him in future.

"Whereas, if he turns down the Celtic job it might be an opportunity that never arises again.

"The pluses in staying put are that he would be in the Premier League for at least one season. But common sense makes Burnley strong favourites to get relegated. I don't think there is any question about that.

"They won't have the resources or financial muscle to compete. It would be a minor miracle if he kept them up.

"Then you have to raise the bar again and your stock can drop."

Coyle moved to Turf Moor in November 2007 and has enjoyed a fabulous first full season in charge, winning promotion via the play-offs and reaching the semi-finals of the Carling Cup at the expense of Premier League trio Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal.

But the former striker only had a season-and-a-half in charge at St Johnstone before his switch to the Clarets and Duffy is amazed that a young manager who was in the Scottish First Division less than two years ago is wanted by Celtic.

"I think a club like Celtic should be spreading the net wider and welcoming top applicants from all across Europe," he added.


"For instance, Mick McCarthy. He's just got Wolves promotion from the Championship by winning the league, while Burnley were fifth. They are a big club who were in the doldrums for years.

"He also took Sunderland up. Okay, he got relegated but sometimes I think you need the disappointments.

"He was the Republic of Ireland manager at a World Cup and had to deal with the Roy Keane problems, so he can deal with big egos and handle publicity.

"For a club Celtic you need all of that and he's a former Celtic player, if fans feel that's important.

"He's a tough character. Someone like that, for me, would have been a more likely candidate.

"A dark horse would have been Glenn Hoddle. He did a magnificent job with England and the style of football at every club he's been at has been exceptional.

"He's got fantastic experience and, if you can manage England, you can manage anyone.

"But I'm just throwing these names in because I think there are names out there to be discussed.

"Tony Mowbray has been mentioned as a front-runner and he is top class with a bit more experience than Owen."

Duffy, who has managed Dundee and Hibernian, began coaching at 29, but has further doubts over Coyle's callowness.

"Is the Celtic job one for a young guy?" he asked. "It didn't work out for John Barnes, while Liam Brady didn't have much experience when he took over and he struggled.

"Sure, Owen is media friendly but that's not important, the bottom line is about being successful on the pitch."

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see also
Celtic target swift Coyle switch
27 May 09 |  Celtic
Bilic interested in Celtic post
27 May 09 |  Celtic
Celtic face 1m Mowbray price tag
26 May 09 |  West Brom
Strachan eyes McGhee as successor
26 May 09 |  Celtic
Coyle ready for Clarets challenge
26 May 09 |  Burnley
Few tears shed for Strachan
25 May 09 |  Celtic
Strachan resigns as Celtic boss
25 May 09 |  Celtic

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