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Tommy Gemmell (l) and Billy McNeill (r), members of Celtic football clubs legendary Lisbon Lions team, launching the new Celtic DVD, Irish Connection, at HMV in Dublin in 2006 Photo by: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Celtic legend tells club to act fast

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Tommy Gemmell (l) and Billy McNeill (r), members of Celtic football clubs legendary Lisbon Lions team, launching the new Celtic DVD, Irish Connection, at HMV in Dublin in 2006 Photo by: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell has said that Celtic must move quickly to replace Gordon Strachan, preferably with someone connected to the club.

The Bhoys are without a manager after Strachan left the club on Monday afternoon and Gemmell believes that if they cannot get someone ‘Celtic-minded’ they could do worse than Slaven Bilic.

“It’s a fantastic job for whoever gets it,” the 1967 European Cup winner told Setanta Sports News. “There’s been ex-Celtic players like Jock Stein, Billy McNeil and Tommy Burns who have had the job and been successful, especially Jock Stein.

“I think if they could get a former Celtic player, and I struggle to think of one, I think the Celtic board would like to get someone in who is Celtic-minded.”

He added: “It’s very difficult to dig up other names, the only thing I can think of is if they bring someone in from Europe and who that may be is anybody’s guess.

“But it’s all in the melting pot and the most important thing is that they get the whole thing sorted out as soon as possible because Celtic definitely need players for next season for The SPL and Europe.

“So the quicker they get somebody in the better it will be for everybody concerned.”

Bilic’s agent Rudi Vata told Setanta Sports News he would be interested in the role, and Gemmell thinks that he would do a good job if he gets time to prepare for next season.

He explained: “I think he would bring a breath of fresh air and a different slant on the whole idea of things, different ideas, and different thoughts.

“It’s very difficult because the Celtic supporters and Celtic football club are looking for success every season wherever he comes from.

“Obviously they’re looking for a run in Europe so need to get things sorted pretty quickly so the new person can get settled in and they can get used to the squad and obviously have a look at people who might be available in the transfer window.”

However despite supporting the appointment of a foreign manager, the former Celtic defender believes it is likely to go to a British coach.

“If Owen Coyle doesn’t take it I would say it’s between Tony Mowbray and Mark McGhee,” he concluded.

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