GLEN Little has expressed surprise that Bolton assistant manager Phil Brown is set to join the race to become Burnley boss.

Little gained an insight into coaching under Brown during a two-month spell on loan at the Reebok Stadium last year.

The former Clarets winger backs up the widely-held belief that Sam Allardyce's right hand man is one of the top coaches in the modern game.

Brown recently joined the ranks of the most qualified coaches in Europe after gaining his pro-licence.

But Little points out that a successful coach is no guarantee he can make the step up to First Division manager.

He said: "Phil is a terrific coach and the ultimate professional on the footballing side.

"People have told me the preparation for games is better at Bolton than it is at Manchester United, so Burnley would certainly be getting a top coach if they could attract him.

"Whether they also get a top manager though remains to be seen because a few coaches have tried that path and failed down the years."

Little, whose dream of earning a contract at Bolton ended after making just four substitutes appearances, added: "I got on really well with Phil during my short time at Bolton.

"training was always enjoyable and he insisted on playing the kind of football that Burnley fans would be looking for - keeping things on the floor and passing the ball through the midfield.

"His drills in training were top drawer and his technical ability is not even in question. At Bolton he was the one who would take training day in and day out before Sam came in towards the weekend to put his own points across.

"He always had fresh ideas on the training ground and even in the dressing room before matches, it was Phil who went through everything on the board before Sam took over towards kick off.

"The fact Sam was happy to let Phil assume total control over the coaching at a top Premiership club shows just how highly he thinks of his assistant."

Brown's first hand managerial experience is limited to just five games in caretaker charge of Bolton following Colin Todd's sacking in September 1999.

Shortly after, Allardyce was appointed manager and promoted Brown from first team coach to assistant manager.

Since then Bolton have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks to finish eighth in their third successive season in Premiership last season - Wanderers highest league placing for 44 years.

Little, who quit Burnley for Reading this summer, added: "They are clearly a fantastic double act. That's why I'm surprised to hear Phil is now considering ending it.

"He is the number two at a Premiership club and there's a train of thought that a manager's job in the First Division is not necessarily a step forward.

"But whoever takes charge, I hope he turns out to be the right man because the fans at Burnley deserve some good times after the past couple of years."