Ron Atkinson feels it is too soon for Eddie Howe to be considered as a potential England manager.
Interim head coach Gareth Southgate, temporarily promoted from his role with the Under-21s following Sam Allardyce’s abrupt departure, has overseen a 2-0 win over Malta and a 0-0 draw away to Slovenia from his two World Cup qualifying matches in charge.
Southgate’s next opportunity to impress will come in another qualifier against Scotland at Wembley on Friday, followed by a home friendly with Spain four days later.
It remains to be seen if the Football Association will hand the role to the former Middlesbrough boss on a long-term basis.
Howe has also been suggested as a candidate after guiding Bournemouth from League Two to the Premier League and preserving their top-flight status last season.
And while former West Brom, Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Atkinson would welcome a domestic appointment, he believes giving the national team job to the promising 38-year-old would be premature.
“I think the England manager should be English,” he told Omnisport ahead of the release of his autobiography, ‘Ron Atkinson: The Manager’.
“And I know we’re limited for choice. People keep saying Eddie Howe – I think it’s miles too early for Eddie Howe. He’s got to move to another club, work with big players for a few years and maybe his time will come then.”
Steve Bruce was hired by Atkinson’s former side Villa last month, having been overlooked for the England role when the FA chose Allardyce as Roy Hodgson’s successor in July.
According to Atkinson, Bruce – a Premier League and FA Cup winner as a player at Manchester United – has suffered due to his lack of consideration as a potential manager for the Old Trafford club.
“If Steve Bruce had played for Real Madrid … and then moved on to Getafe and Villarreal [as a coach] and had a modicum of success – cup runs, reasonable [league] positions – and then the position had come up at Real Madrid, he’d have been well in the frame,” Atkinson said.
“He might even have got it.
“I’ve never seen his name mentioned as a possible Man United manager.
“All of a sudden, it became the vogue at top level [to hire foreign managers]. We have got the leading world coaches, with the exception of [Atletico Madrid’s Diego] Simeone, working here.
“I never saw Steve’s name, ever, as a contender for the job.”
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