JOHN HARTSON believes it is imperative that the next Celtic manager has the strength of will to outline the finances required to move the club forward and has identified Alan Stubbs, currently in charge of Hibernian, as a worthy candidate for the position.

The Welshman, who played for the club for five years between 2001 and 2006, is supportive of his former team-mate Neil Lennon following his decision to throw his hat into the ring for a return to hot-seat at Parkhead, but he believes there are others that must come under consideration.

“I said Alan months ago and people laughed at me,” said Hartson “However, if Alan wins the Scottish Cup final and gets Hibs promoted through the play-offs, he has got to be a candidate, hasn’t he?

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"Celtic need a strong manager. They need to go in and tell Peter Lawwell what is needed otherwise you can’t be expected to take the club forward.

"You have got to have a strong relationship and strong opinions with your owners.

“You can’t just be happy to take the job. You have to take it and say that I am going to need this amount for this player and that player. I am not sure Ronny has done that.


“He bought a couple of players from Dundee United for a couple of million, but you need a manager to come in and say :‘This is what I need to take us forward in Europe because we aren’t strong enough as a group’.

“We need to see whether they are prepared to go out and bring in that strong character.

“ Neil had a difficult time at Bolton after they cut the wage bill. He did his best under difficult circumstances and I am sure he would love the job. He has been there before and if he is willing to take it on after all the issues and what he had to do when he was in charge, he is a brave man.

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“I sat next to Neil for five years in that Celtic dressing room and he was a terrific little player and knows the club inside out. You would have to ask the fans what their opinions would be, but I think the majority would want him back.”

Hartson believes Deila had no other option than to leave at the end of the season and believes a character in the mould of his former Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, is what the club requires.


"It is time for Ronny to go simply because he has lost every big game that Celtic have had to win," he said. "Celtic make the same mistakes and concede the same goals all the time. I spoke to Martin O'Neill the other day (after the defeat to Rangers) and I said to him: 'You'd have had us out training for six hours if we'd defended like that'.

"He would have rectified the problem and replaced them with players who were good enough."