English League 2

New boss Beattie dares to dream

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Tue, 14 May 2013 12:52:00

Celtic captain Scott Brown says he is delighted to be back fully fit and ready to lead his team to a Scottish league and cup double after returning to action ahead of schedule.

Brown was forced to have surgery on a troublesome abductor problem after the Parkhead first leg of the last 16 Champions League tie with Juventus in February.

He returned from three months out at Celtic Park to lead the team to a 4-0 win over St Johnstone in a man-of-the-match display.

The 27-year-old then held the Scottish Premier League trophy aloft in front of the home fans for the second straight season and told the Celtic View it was another extremely special occasion for him.

"It means a lot to me," he said, "and for the gaffer to give me a start it was really good. I got 60 minutes under my belt and that's great with two big games coming up.

"I wasn't expecting to start, not after my performances in training this week anyway, but I felt fine in the game.

"The gaffer told me early doors I was going to take part in the game but when I found out I was going to start I was delighted. This is a good couple of weeks ahead of schedule but everything's perfect now."

The Scotland international admitted it was another emotional day in the east end of Glasgow after not expecting to kick a ball again before pre-season following the operation.

Brown is hoping to keep his place in the starting line-up when Celtic face Hibernian at Hampden on May 26 in the Scottish Cup final and added: "It's always special lifting the SPL trophy but to play so well it means even more, it was an outstanding day.

"It was a great occasion, the lads did really well and it was a special atmosphere. The fans were outstanding from the first minute until the last. To do it at home as well means a lot to the players.

"After the first five minutes we set the tempo and the tone, and showed them what we were all about. We knew it was going to be a big game and a big occasion in front of the home fans and they helped us along."

The 35-year-old was named as Leam Richardson's successor yesterday evening, having being brought to the npower League Two club by his one-time Blackburn team-mate as a player/coach last November.

Beattie scored seven goals in 27 appearances as Stanley secured their Football League status for another season, only for the feel-good factor to be dampened at the end of last month when Richardson left to become Paul Cook's assistant at Chesterfield.

The outgoing manager left a glowing reference on Beattie's manner around the dressing room with a young squad and the ex- Southampton, Everton and Stoke man prevailed following interviews with seven candidates, including former long-serving Stanley boss John Coleman.

And with the security of a two-year contract, Beattie wants a tilt at the third tier next term.

"We all believe that we're going to be successful and the aim is to get promoted," he said. "I'm not going to say it isn't because it is.

"I'll be utilising everything within my power and my network of friends.

"It's all right me saying that, people might say 'he's dreaming', but I think you've got to aim high.

"That's the ultimate goal and everyone will know that's what we're going for."

Beattie rubbed shoulders with another familiar face from his Premier League days, Francis Jeffers, under Richardson in east Lancashire this season.

While accepting he must work within a meagre budget, the new manager hopes to call in similar favours from his big-name acquaintances.

"I've got links to probably every club in the country so I'll be utilising all my contacts to bring players here," added Beattie, who will retain his players' registration but intends to concentrate fully on management.

"I'll be utilising the loan market. Any young player that we get in here will be treated correctly. They'll have a great workplace to come and develop their skills."

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