Former Celtic player and coach Peter Grant refuses to quit from Dunfermline

By Euan Davidson

September 15, 2021

Former Celtic player and coach Peter Grant is struggling at Dunfermline Athletic, but refuses to give up on the Fife side.

Grant was linked with a return to Celtic Park under Eddie Howe this summer. The two had worked together at Bournemouth, and Grant was already at Celtic under Tony Mowbray.

The former midfielder, who played for the Bhoys between 1984 and 1997, spent last season with Alloa Athletic. Despite the side being relegated, Grant’s brand of football was deemed a good fit for the Pars. But the season so far has been tumultuous.

Dunfermline find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table, with just a single point to their name thus far [SPFL].

Reacting to the 3-1 defeat from Ayr United at the weekend, fans have been vocal about Grant departing the club. However, the former Bhoys coach was adamant he could turn things around.

Grant said [Courier]:

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“I’m desperate to be the manager of this football club and I’m desperate to be a success at this football club.

“If that changes, it won’t be through my choice.

“Of course, you always question yourself — but it’ll not be through my choice. I want to do the job.

“If I felt I was letting myself down or letting the group down then I would’t be sitting here.

“I’ll take the criticism on the chin but I don’t think anyone can question my work ethic, I can’t work any harder than I am to put this right.

“I want to turn the negativity around, I want to send the fans home happy, rather than frustrated and bitter. [I’m] trying my damndest to do that.”

Peter Grant struggling at Dunfermline reminds Celtic fans of what might’ve been this summer

When it looked like Eddie Howe was joining Celtic, there was a time when Grant rejoining his boyhood club was nailed-on. When he took the Dunfermline job, he was coy about whether or not he’d received contact from Howe [Daily Record].

The narrative at the time was that Howe would be building his own backroom team. That team needed some advanced knowledge of Celtic, and the Scottish game. The pair had worked together. You can see why people made the connection.

However, Howe is still jobless. And with Peter Grant’s struggles in Fife, you wonder if he’s thinking about the opportunity that could have been. If things had worked out differently, he’d be in Celtic’s dugout, perhaps.

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In some ways, Grant taking the Dunfermline job could’ve been the first sign that Howe wasn’t going to come to Celtic. But the lure of management was appealing to Grant, having been a coach with us, as well as managing Norwich and Fulham. Grant also spent time coaching the Scotland National Team.

It’s still very, very early in the season. And while Dunfermline are struggling, there’s still plenty of time for the likeable ex-Celt to turn things around.

But with the pressure he’s under, it’ll need to be quick.

Read more: What Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas keeps hearing about Celtic Park