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Burley to be unveiled as Scotland boss

Final confirmation of Burley's appointment was delayed however while negotiations on his personal terms continued.

sports Updated: Jan 24, 2008 19:06 IST

The Scottish Football Association were set Thursday to unveil George Burley as the new manager of Scotland's national team.

The governing body has already confirmed that Burley had come out on top of their selection process and agreed a compensation package to secure his release from his current employers, the English Championship club Southampton.

Final confirmation of Burley's appointment was delayed however while negotiations on his personal terms continued.

Burley beat off competition for the post from Motherwell manager Mark McGhee, Celtic assistant coach Tommy Burns and former Rangers and Liverpool boss Graeme Souness.

The position has been vacant since Alex McLeish resigned in late November to take over at English Premier League side Birmingham City having led Scotland to the brink of the Euro 2008 finals in a qualifying group that included both France and Italy.

The next target for the Scots is to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 12 years after their last appearance in football's top event.

Burley's first match in charge will be a friendly against Croatia on March 26 with his first competitive fixture a trip to Macedonia in September.

Burley is a former Scotland defender who spent much of his playing career in England with Ipswich, where he made over 500 appearances.

He also played for Sunderland, Gillingham, Motherwell and Falkirk before beginning his his coaching career as a player-manager with Ayr in 1991.

He moved on to Colchester in 1994 before becoming boss at Ipswich, Derby, Hearts and Southampton respectively.

As a manager, he has acquired a reputation for being good at getting the best out of individual players and getting his teams to play a passing game -- something which Scotland captain Barry Ferguson welcomed.

The Rangers midfielder was impressed by the way Burley led Hearts to the top of the Scottish Premier League in 2005 before a disagreement with majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov led to his shock departure.

"I've only ever heard good things about George, although I have never really spoken to him," Ferguson said.

"It was well documented that his reign at Hearts ended in unfortunate circumstances. But he had them absolutely flying at the start of that season and he looks a good manager.

"There was no doubt he transformed the whole club during that short spell in charge. He also comes across as a real football person.

"He likes his teams to get the ball down and play it on the deck. In my mind that's the right way to play. We certainly have the players for that style."