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Four-goal Faris dreams of AFC Cup final


Levein leaves Dundee United to take Scotland job

Craig Levein has been confirmed as the manager of Scotland and has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal to manage the side after leaving his post at Dundee United.

Levein had been in talks with the SFA about taking over as the country's manager following the departure of George Burley and agreed a deal in principle on Tuesday night. There had been an issue with compensation paid to Dundee United but the problem has now been resolved and Levein has accepted a deal to lead the country through qualification for the 2012 European Championships.

A delighted Levein, who cost the SFA a reported £250,000 in compensation, said: ''As a proud Scotland fan, it is a dream come true to take charge of the national team. I very much enjoyed my time at Dundee United, and would like to thank the players, backroom staff, supporters, directors, chairman Stephen Thompson, and everyone associated with the club for their support, but I felt that this was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.

''I was delighted to put pen to paper today, and now I can't wait to get started, as we prepare for the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

''I think there is a malaise around the game just now,'' he added. ''I think we need to change some attitudes more than anything else. We need to be a bit more positive in what we are doing, have more pride and passion.

''I've been working hard for around 15 years in management and now I have the opportunity to make a significant difference, not just to the Scottish national team but to the way people feel about Scotland itself.

''I would like to improve results at international level, at Under-21s - where they have been doing well - at Under-17 level, at Victory Shield level. I want to get a real sense of achievement at those younger age groups as well as at full international level, to try and raise the profile and getting everyone positive again.''

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith said: ''Craig was the unanimous choice of the board and brings a wealth of experience as a player - including 16 international caps for Scotland - and as a coach.

''He has established a firm reputation as one of the most respected managers in the country and has already expressed his excitement at leading Scotland into the qualification campaign for Euro 2012 and beyond.

''I am sure the players, the Scotland supporters and media will share his ambitions and I urge the whole country to get behind the new manager in the collective aim to return to a major championship finals.''

SFA president George Peat said: ''Craig has already demonstrated his ambition to succeed with Scotland by leaving a coveted position as both manager and director of football at Dundee United. I am delighted we have managed to conclude the recruitment process successfully and ahead of schedule.''

Dundeed chairman Stephen Thompson said: "It is with great regret and disappointment that I confirm Craig Levein is leaving Dundee United. He has done a great job for us and leaves the team - and the club as a whole - in a much better position than it was when he arrived here.

"While we always knew he would move on to a bigger job and are flattered that the job he has done here has brought him to the attention of the national team, we're nevertheless very disappointed Craig is leaving us at this time. However, he leaves with our gratitude and best wishes for the future.

"We now move on and look to our own future. We've already had plenty of names put to us as potential replacements and I can understand why because we've got a good squad of players and are in a strong position to attract good candidates.

"However, we won't be rushing into appointing someone else. We'll take our time and look at all the options."


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