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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 28, 2007

Scottish FA: No new manager this year

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith does not expect to appoint Alex McLeish's successor before the end of the year.

McLeish was installed as Birmingham boss on Wednesday morning after ending his 10-month stint with Scotland by resigning as national team manager.

Smith will be responsible for identifying candidates but stressed he and the SFA will not be rushed.

'There have been loads of names put about, but we'll be taking our time over it,' Smith said.

'There's no time-frame on it at all either.

'We don't want to be rushed into it. We don't think we'll be appointing anyone until the early part of next year.'

Smith, who joked he had received 'three or four hundred' calls about the job already, believes the position is best suited to a Scot.

But he did not rule out bringing in a candidate of a different nationality.

'We're hoping it is going to be a Scottish person,' 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.

'I don't think that would be fair.

'We probably do expect it will be a Scottish candidate, that the next manager will be Scottish, but it's not 100%.'

Smith was emerging from a meeting of the SFA's board at Hampden, which had initially been called to discuss offering McLeish a new contract.

Tuesday's sudden turn of events meant the priority became recruiting a new manager.

The SFA were surprised by the timing of McLeish's switch to Birmingham, but there is little pressure on them to find a new coach given Scotland's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

The 2010 World Cup qualifiers do not begin until next season, hence there being no need for urgency.

Scotland will be seeking an entirely new coaching team after Birmingham paraded Roy Aitken and Andy Watson alongside McLeish on Wednesday morning.

Aitken and Watson had been working as assistants to manager McLeish with Scotland since January but have accepted posts at the Barclays Premier League club.

Aitken had been touted among the possible contenders to replace McLeish in charge of the national team.

Gary McAllister, Billy Davies and Craig Levein are the leading names in the frame, according to several bookmakers.

Former Derby, Preston and Motherwell boss Davies has admitted he would be interested, and former Rangers boss Graeme Souness confirmed he would listen to any offers to manage a national team.

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