Appoint Scotland manager before chief executive, Neil McCann tells SFA

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Neil McCann playing for Scotland against Romania in 2004
Neil McCann (right) won 26 Scotland caps

The Scottish FA should concentrate on appointing a new manager before turning their attentions to a new chief executive, according to Dundee manager Neil McCann.

The Scots have been without a full-time manager since October and Stewart Regan left the chief executive's role last week.

McCann, 43, played 26 times for Scotland - under three managers.

"I think a manager has to come first," said McCann.

"A lot of people will argue it's the opposite way about because the chief executive has to pick a manager.

"I think the manager is in control of the whole situation. The chief executive obviously has to run the SFA but I would like a manager in and maybe he has a say in that relationship. But the manager has to pick the team and does the tactics so as far as I'm concerned that's the most important aspect for me."

'Smith would have been a great choice' - Moyes

McCann is disappointed former national team boss Walter Smith has ruled himself out of the running for the Scotland job, with the SFA having already been unsuccessful in their attempts to recruit Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

"I don't know if it's a surprise but maybe he just doesn't want it anymore," McCann said of Smith, 69.

"I worked with him for a short time at international level and heard enough from top-class professionals about the good work he did with Scotland so it's disappointing that another top candidate has decided to take himself out of the job.

"Of course we all want the best for the country and we all want the best man available for the job. It's difficult when you don't have a chief executive and you don't have a man who will be picking the team."

West Ham manager David Moyes also felt Smith "would have been a great choice for Scotland, because of his experience and his knowledge".

"He is respected by everybody throughout the country," Moyes told BBC Scotland.

"But I am sure we will get the right manager. If Alex [McLeish] gets it, Alex has been there before and done it. Alex is very experienced and very knowledgeable."

York City chief executive Jackie McNamara - a former manager of that club, Dundee United and Partick Thistle - has been linked with the SFA chief executive role.

Jackie McNamara and Neil McCann
McNamara and McCann were club and international team-mates

McCann says his former Falkirk and Scotland team-mate likes being involved at boardroom level.

"I think Jackie is really enjoying that side of the game," said McCann. "It's something totally different for him and I was surprised when he took that job.

"What I will say, Jackie is a really intelligent man. He was clearly a fantastic footballer. He is a thinker of the game and I think you have to be in that role.

"In that role you have to have a real connection and people skills to work closely with the Scotland manager. I wouldn't have a fear that Jackie could do that job."

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