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Collins: Lure too strong

John Collins admits he had no hesitation in accepting the role as assistant manager at Celtic after receiving the call from new boss Ronny Deila.

Collins, who scored 47 goals in 221 games for the champions between 1990-1996, claims the lure of Champions League football, and returning to the club he loves, proved impossible to turn down.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: "I played for the club, it's a massive club with a great support, fantastic training facilities and stadium.

"I didn't know Ronny before he called me, like most people in Scotland. But as soon as I heard his name I did a little bit of research and found he had done a fantastic job on a small budget with a small club in Norway.

"It's a great challenge for him and it's a great honour for me to be back here but we must hit the ground running.

"The Champions League qualifiers start on the 15th of July, players come back on Tuesday for pre-season and hopefully we will get off to good start.

"There is pressure but it's more about expectation from the fans. They have got used to the Champions League in recent seasons and love it.

"We're playing against the big boys and that is where everyone wants to be, but first we have to take care of the qualifiers which are never easy as they are so early in the season.

"But the boys have been over this before in the last few seasons and are used to it. They know what to expect and it's just all about getting to the group stages."

And Collins has again rubbished suggestions there could be a problem between himself and captain Scott Brown after the pair allegedly fell out during his time in charge of Hibernian.

Brown was among a group of players at Easter Road reportedly unhappy with Collins' team selections and training methods but the former Scotland midfielder has laughed off suggestions any friction could spill over at Celtic Park.

"I have no problem whatsoever with Scottie," he said. "He was a terrific young player with me at Hibs, a great trainer and I knew he would go onto great things.

"I and really looking forward to getting into training with him on Tuesday... should be fun.

"I haven't changed since my coaching days at Hibs. I am a coach that demands hard work from players and my job is to try and make players better. That's why we all come in every day."

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