Scotland: Gordon Strachan says it would be an honour to be manager

Strachan has been out of management since 2010
Strachan has been out of management since 2010

Gordon Strachan has indicated that he would be interested in succeeding Craig Levein as Scotland's national coach.

The former Celtic, Coventry City, Middlesbrough and Southampton manager is being tipped by many as the leading candidate for the role after Levein's sacking on Monday.

"It would be an honour to be asked to manage your own national side," the 55-year-old told ITV Sport.

"But it would be arrogant to presume that someone will ask me."

Strachan, who lives in the English Midlands, revealed that he would be returning to Scotland on Wednesday to watch Celtic's Champions League Group G match against Barcelona.

He gave no indication that he would be talking to the Scottish Football Association while in the country, or that he planned to apply for the job.

Strachan expects Celtic to be "up against it" in their game against the tournament favourites, pointing out that the Scottish champions have been hit by a rash of injuries.

"But it's amazing what that crowd can do for you," he said.

Former SFA president George Peat told BBC Scotland on Monday that it had been a two-horse race between Strachan and Walter Smith to become Scotland manager in 2004.

Peat said that Edinburgh-born Strachan had withdrawn himself from the process, and the former official suggested that money might have been the reason, and Smith was appointed.

Strachan went on to have a successful four years as Celtic manager from 2005 but has been out of management since a less fruitful year with Middlesbrough ended in October 2010.

Some Scotland fans had already displayed banners asking him to replace Levein before the SFA sacked the coach this week.

Strachan was quickly installed as favourite by bookmakers and his chances of taking the job appear to have increased after receiving the endorsement of his former Aberdeen team-mate, Alex McLeish.

McLeish, who managed Scotland for nine months in 2007, was viewed by some as Strachan's main challenger but has stated that he is concentrating on finding another club management job after his summer exit from Aston Villa.

Former Scotland striker Joe Jordan, who left Tottenham Hotspur along with Harry Redknapp in the summer, has also stated his interest in the job.

Other possible candidates are Owen Coyle, the Glasgow-born former Republic of Ireland striker recently sacked by Bolton Wanderers, and former Scotland manager Smith.

However, another former Scotland manager, Craig Brown, has stressed that he is concentrating on his role as Aberdeen boss.

Brown suggested that Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark, who has been installed as caretaker next week's friendly against Luxembourg, could be a surprise choice as permanent national coach.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall, the former Scotland midfielder, has ruled himself out of the running, saying it has come too early in his management career.

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