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Celtic fans thumbs-up will give big to my gaffer.

Byline: SCOTT McDERMOTT

GRAHAM DORRANS grew up on a Glasgow housing estate listening to his Hoops-clad pals talk about playing "the Celtic way." Even as an ardent Rangers fan he knew what they meant. Cavalier, free-flowing, attacking football with flair and imagination.

It's what the Parkhead faithful demand and have come to expect.

That's why, as much as Dorrans' heart sank when he heard the news, the West Brom midfielder admits his gaffer Tony Mowbray is the perfect Celtic manager.

Mogga looks certain to leave The Hawthorns and replace Gordon Strachan at Parkhead, provided the clubs can thrash out compensation.

Dorrans will be distraught if Peter Lawwell gets his man but know he's the ideal candidate.

Mowbray is renowned for a brand of football Graham believes would satisfy a Celtic support craving style and success.

The former Hibs boss has been criticised in some quarters as being too attack-minded and neglecting defence. It has been claimed he would have to rethink his approach at the Old Firm where second best is failure.

But Dorrans insists joining Celtic will only encourage Mogga to stick to his beliefs because the SPL doesn't have the same world-class opposition as the Premiership.

The Scot told MailSport: "Growing up in Glasgow I used to hear Celtic fans talking about playing 'the Celtic way.' It's all about passing, movement, free-flowing, attacking football.

"That would suit the gaffer down to the ground and that's why he'd be a great boss for them.

"All he wants to do is get the ball down and play and that's what the Celtic fans love to see.

"I've heard Tony criticised for being too attack minded and people have said he'd have to change his ways at Celtic because of the pressure to win trophies.

"But it's a lot harder to be tight at the back in the Premiership than the SPL.

"So he wouldn't have to worry much about the defensive side of things because it's not tested the way it is in England.

"He wouldn't change his philosophy.

For 90 per cent of Celtic's games they'll be on the front foot so he can go all-out attack.

"Okay, maybe he should have changed his tactics against the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool when we were up against world-class players.

"But he won't face anything like that in the SPL. That style has worked well for him and I can't see it changing." Dorrans was sunning himself on holiday when he found out Mowbray was odds-on to leave the Baggies and return to Scotland.

The 22-year-old had been plucked from Livingston by Mogga and thrown in at the Premiership deep end last season.

He did not let the manager down and, despite the club's relegation, will be a vital player as West Brom try to get out of the Championship next term.

As he digested the news last night Dorrans said: "I'm on holiday in Tenerife but was gutted to pick up the paper and read the gaffer was going.

"He gave me my big break by giving me a crack at the best league in the world.

"I'll be devastated if he goes because he's been excellent for my career. I hope the West Brom chairman really digs his heels in and does everything he can to keep Tony at the club.

"I'd be delighted if he stayed because I've loved every minute playing under him. He gave me my debut, which was unexpected, and has been brilliant in helping me settle down south. If he left I would have to prove myself all over again.

Fantastic "Tony spotted me at Livingston, gave me a chance and threw me in to games against the likes of Spurs and Manchester City.

"I've read about the other candidates linked with Celtic but he's the best and I don't think anyone out there would do a better job." Dorrans has marvelled first hand at the traits that have made Mowbray a hero in the Midlands.

He believes the manager's biggest strengths - dealing with players individually and innovative coaching - will make him a success at Parkhead and put a major dent in Rangers' hopes of retaining the SPL title.

Graham said: "The gaffer is at his best on the training pitch. His coaching is fantastic and that's what I've enjoyed most about West Brom.

"He's great with all the boys and man management is his other big strength.

Unlike a lot of bosses. I've seen him take boys in one-on-one after games and talk them through what he thinks they did wrong.

"He has been different class for the club and I hope he's still there when I go back for pre-season training.

"Being a Rangers fan will make it doubly disappointing for me if he does go to Parkhead.

"It will be some race for the title next year if Tony's in charge because he'll get Celtic playing quality football and Rangers will find it difficult against them."

CAPTION(S):

He's thumb gaffer: Mogga will be a revelation at Celtic insists West Brom's Scots ace Graham Dorrans
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 7, 2009
Words:846
Previous Article:MADE IN IPSWICH; Burley reveals secret of Mogga's philosophy.
Next Article:Hartson: Mogga is right man.


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