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‘DESTINED FOR THE TOP’: HIGH PRAISE FOR RICHARD HUGHES

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RICHARD HUGHES’ former boss has made it clear why Eddie Howe is determined to take the Bournemouth technical director to Celtic with him.

“He will be one of the best,” insists ex-gaffer Paul Groves who has no doubt the former Scotland international midfielder is heading for the very top in his role.

Howe and Hughes dovetailed during the manager’s eight years at the south coast club that saw the team rise from the thrird tier to the top flight in a spectacular transformation.

The association ended in August when the highly-rated 43-year-old coach quit the post following relegation and, despite a delay in the announcement, will almost certainly be in the Parkhead dug-out in time for the new season.

Hughes took a year out of football when he quit as a player at Portsmouth and it was Groves who tempted him back at Bournemouth in 2012 while Howe was in charge at Burnley.

Groves, now manager of Gloucester City, said: “Richard is destined to be at a top club at some point.

“Whether that turns out to be Celtic or another, that is where he will end up because of the qualities he possesses.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s Celtic. But if it’s not, it will be another top club in the near future.

“He will turn up somewhere, 100 per cent. I would say that it’s guaranteed. It’s huge to have someone talented in that role as it’s one of the most vital jobs in a football club.

“In my experience of dealing with Richard, speaking with him and working with him, he’ll be one of the best.

“Richard has a host of strengths – dedication, knowledge, professionalism and also his manner.

“There are so many qualities he has that fit into that role perfectly.”

Groves, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “At any football club, the manager needs good support. He needs good people around him and Richard would definitely fit into that bill.

“He’s intelligent and knowledgeable with the right manner.

“He’s one of the top people. If he does go to Celtic, they would be getting a top, top person.”

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