Scots to take time over new manager
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Scots to take time over new manager

Scotland will not hasten their process to appoint a new manager, after Alex McLeish resigned from the post earlier in the day, according to the SFA.

sports Updated: Nov 28, 2007 19:50 IST

Scotland are unlikely to appoint a new manager before the end of the year, according to Scottish Football Association (SFA) chief executive Gordon Smith.

Scotland were left looking for a new boss after Alex McLeish, appointed manager of English Premier League strugglers Birmingham on Wednesday, ended his 10-month spell in charge by resigning on Tuesday after narrowly failing to guide his country into next year's European Championship finals.

Scotland's next match is not likely to be until February, where there is provision for a friendly fixture against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Smith, speaking after Wednesday's special meeting of the SFA board, saids: "We don't want to be rushed. We don't think we'll be appointing anyone until the early part of next year."

"The board held a full and productive meeting this morning to begin the search for Alex's successor.

"No names were discussed at this stage, rather we agreed the process that we will be following and set out the profile of the candidate we are looking for.

"This is an exciting time for football in this country, so it is crucial that the person who gets the job has the ability to build on where we are and lead us into what we all hope will be a successful (2010) World Cup qualifying campaign.

"As we do not have a competitive fixture for a number of months, time is on our side. We will use that time wisely and make sure that we get the right man for the job."

Given the relative recent success enjoyed by the national side under Scottish bosses McLeish and predecessor Walter Smith, it is unlikely the SFA will go for a foreign manager following the team's poor performances under German coach Berti Vogts.

"We're hoping it is going to be a Scottish person," Gordon Smith said. "I think that's very important.

"But I've made it very clear that if a candidate comes along who is impressive and we feel could do the job, then we're not necessarily saying we're going to ignore him because he's not Scottish."

Meanwhile former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder Graeme Souness announced he would be interested in managing at international level.

The 54-year-old has had several high-profile positions as a manager with leading British clubs such as Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow Rangers and has also taken charge of several European teams including Turkey's Galatasaray, Italy's Torino and Portugal's Benfica.

Souness, who as a manager has not enjoyed the same trophy-winning success he achieved during a six-year spell as a player with Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s, which included three European Cups and five English titles, said he would like to take charge of a national side.

"I would be interested in taking a national team position," said Souness, capped 54 times by his country.

Souness, currently without a club position, has been linked with both the Scotland and Republic of Ireland jobs, but said: "I've not been offered either of them so I can't comment."

First Published: Nov 28, 2007 19:44 IST