Scott Brown's boisterousness was a regular source of entertainment and irritation to Rainer Bonhof. The former Scotland under-21 coach required the patience of Job to curb the midfielder's natural enthusiasm that, when supplemented by sugary confection, made him as wired as a hyperactive schoolkid.

None the less, the German spoke fondly of his part in Brown's development and believes he only need relax in order to prove a worthy long-term replacement for Neil Lennon at Celtic.

Bonhof recommended both Brown and Kevin Thomson to Bundesliga contacts during his stay in Scotland, but commended Celtic's willingness to break the Scottish transfer record - Rangers paid £4m for Duncan Ferguson - to invest heavily in the 21-year-old.

The former Borussia Moenchengladbach player and manager is confident that, in time, Brown can even eclipse the contribution of the outgoing Celtic captain, provided Gordon Strachan and his backroom team can have a calming influence on the tempestuous character.

"I am pleased for Scotty because I always knew he had the talent to progress," said Bonhof, now Chelsea's Germany-based scout. "He has everything needed to be a modern midfield player; he has the energy and stamina to play box-to-box, he has good control and the ability to play an intelligent pass, which sometimes goes unnoticed. Everyone knows about his personality and enthusiasm and, if anything, when I dealt with him before a game it was mainly to remove his tension. We had some interesting times with him, but most are not suitable for a newspaper.

"He is a passionate guy, but sometimes we had to make him relax a bit. If you are so wound-up on the pitch, it can lead to mistakes and in some cases he was red-carded because of his aggressive style. It is something I know he has worked on to improve, but the key is to make him focus with-out reducing his effectiveness."

Lennon's feisty temperament has been well documented during six-and-a-half colourful and controversial years in Scottish football. With Brown expected to play alongside Paul Hartley, Celtic will be a more dynamic proposition in midfield and a more entertaining and enterprising side as a result.

"Scotty maybe is not as mature on the field or as composed as Lennon is, but that will come as he gets older," said Bonhof. "He is a more explosive player, though, and the fans will be excited by him because he can get to the final third and pose a threat that Lennon did not. He is a completely different player, but can be just as popular."

Bonhof was to return to Glasgow this week to watch the UEFA Cup final, but had to cancel his plans to undertake scouting work for Chelsea. He will be back before the summer and has spent the past few weeks as part of a support network for his former assistant with the under-21s, Maurice Malpas.

The Motherwell manager is in a precarious position. He has endured a baying mob calling for his departure after the club flirted briefly with relegation, in the midst of a takeover from a local businessman, Tommy Coakley. Bonhof, though, has urged the fans to take a reality check.

"Motherwell are where they should be when you look at the resources available," he said. "They had a tremendous season before Terry Butcher left, and I think he got out at the right time. Since then, Maurice has lost important players, like Richie Foran and Steven Hammell, and has not been able to replace them.

"He is not one to make excuses, but the expectations from fans are unrealistic and when they are angry they lose all reason. They don't want to hear the facts behind it, they just want someone to blame."