EX-CHERRIES assistant Peter Grant reckons Eddie Howe could go straight from his current job to managing England – just not yet.

The Celtic legend, who worked with Howe as a player during Sean O’Driscoll’s time in charge, argued the current Cherries boss would quickly gain the respect of England players without needing to have a bigger club on his CV.

Reports from Sky last night claimed Sam Allardyce’s appointment as Roy Hodgson’s replacement was imminent.

But while 50-year-old Grant, now coaching Fulham’s emerging talent, felt Howe could handle the post, he said it would suit the Cherries boss later in his career.

Grant told the Daily Echo: “If I was Eddie, I wouldn’t go for it now because I think he has too much to offer the day-to-day game.

“He could handle it, no problem. I think it is too early, not for England but for Eddie. He needs to be in the top division, buying and selling players, making sure they stay in there.

“I would leave it to the older guys who are at the other end of the careers, he has too much to offer the Premier League.

“Eddie has been very consistent in what he does and I am sure he has much more to do. It would be great to see him challenge for a trophy and then take on that experience when the opportunity comes.

“People say the chance to manage England doesn’t come round that often but for Eddie Howe, it could come up a few times before he should take it.”

Asked whether he felt Howe would need a stepping stone between Dorset and Wembley, Grant replied. “Not necessarily. Players would soon respect what Eddie has to say and his knowledge of the game, that’s for sure.

“I would have no problem with him taking the England job, even if it would be a completely different demand. There is no doubt anyone would enjoy playing for him and he would be very demanding but for me, I think Eddie would admit he is learning all the time.

“I think it tells you a lot when you see how calm he is when things are going wrong.

“He has dealt with the press and the added exposure really well and I think that tells you enough. He speaks with real intelligence about the game.

“You can rant and rave all you want but when Eddie speaks, he does so with sense and that is important. The proof is in the performances, you can see the players understand what he wants.

“I think he is capable of being cold and if he is not happy, he won’t be afraid to be that big decision maker.

“Sometimes, it is adversity that gives you your strongest periods and so far, he has been able to cope with that but England is a completely different kettle of fish.

“He deserves to be working day in, day out with players, not every three months. It is a completely different scenario.

“Whatever happens, I wish him well and hope Bournemouth have a fantastic season.”