Scotland manager: Neil Lennon not in the running to replace Alex McLeish

By Scott MullenBBC Sport Scotland
Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon aims to complete a third successive domestic treble for Celtic as interim manager

Neil Lennon believes the next Scotland manager should be Scottish as he ruled himself out of the running.

The Northern Irishman, whose current deal at Celtic runs out in the summer, has been linked with the post following Alex McLeish's exit on Thursday.

"I like the day-to-day stuff," said Lennon, who hopes to extend his second spell in charge at Celtic.

"The job should be, whether you think this is antiquated or not, for a Scotland man."

German former World Cup winner Berti Vogts is the only non-Scot to have been Scotland manager.

"There are plenty of good candidates and it is a prime job still," added Lennon, 47.

"I think it is for older, experienced managers. Even though I have been a manager for nine or 10 years, club football is where my best interests are."

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin told BBC Scotland that he believed the quick dismissal of McLeish, just two games into the European qualifying campaign, would put off potential top-level managers from applying.

It is a notion Lennon agrees with as he described the decision as "very premature".

"I'm talking with hindsight but I didn't think at the time getting rid of Gordon Strachan was the right decision because he was making progress with the team," he said.

"They were unbeaten in seven or eight qualifiers and that was huge progress for me going forward. There was an identity.

"Eck [McLeish] was trying to get his own style and it's been taken away from him, so he couldn't win. He did his job in terms of qualifying for the Nations League play-offs. That was one objective done, and he's two games into the group and he's gone already.

"The decision seemed to be based on one result (the 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan) which is scandalous from my point of view."

When asked about the possibility of Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke taking over, Lennon added: "Absolutely. He's an outstanding candidate. The Kilmarnock fans won't thank me for that and the Aberdeen fans won't thank me for saying Derek McInnes is an outstanding candidate as well.

"There are two very good guys in the SFA building as well [Scot Gemmill and Malky Mackay] and there are other names out there. David Moyes, Alex Neil, Paul Lambert. Quality managers who hopefully could take the reins on."

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