Scottish top tier is 'English League One standard' - James Fowler

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Image caption Scottish Premiership Aberdeen took Premier League Burnley to extra time in their Europa League tie

The standard of football in the Scottish Premiership is akin to that in England's League One, according to Sunderland assistant James Fowler.

The former Kilmarnock midfielder played in the Scottish top flight for 17 years and was number two to Jack Ross at St Mirren in the Championship last term.

He is now Ross' deputy at the Stadium of Light in England's third tier.

"From what we've seen so far, I'd say League One is similar to the top league in Scotland," Fowler told BBC Sport.

Midfielder Gael Bigirimana admitted on Friday he underestimated the quality of the Scottish top flight when he joined Motherwell from League One Coventry City last year.

And Fowler also said that some of the "top-end teams" in Scotland will consider themselves as the equivalent of Championship clubs.

"Celtic and Rangers will believe they could play in the Premier League given the money they get down here," Fowler added.

"It's probably relative to the money you bring in and the size of the clubs but Sunderland's a massive club in this division and it's our aim to get up the leagues as quickly as possible."