Scotland: Kilmarnock's Steve Clarke 'too young' for national job - Gary Dicker

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke instructs his players
Gary Dicker (second left) regards Steve Clarke as a "teacher"

Kilmarnock's Steve Clarke is too young for international management and would miss day-to-day coaching too much, says Killie midfielder Gary Dicker.

The 55-year-old is one of the favourites to be Scotland head coach after the sacking of Alex McLeish.

But Dicker hopes "teacher" Clarke remains at Rugby Park.

"I think he's more hands on," he said. "He likes being out on the grass so much and coaching and being in the mix of it."

He added: "I'm not too sure about Scotland to be honest. I've already told him that I ruled him out of the job!

"He's too young to be an international manager, so I'd be surprised. But you never know."

On Friday, Clarke said he would be interested in managing Scotland "at some stage" but refused to be drawn on the vacancy, adding: "I don't speculate."

Dicker has seen the highs and lows at Kilmarnock since signing in 2016. He was part of Lee Clark's side that escaped relegation by beating Falkirk in the Premiership play-off and has been a central figure in Clarke's side who are now third in the table and chasing a place in Europe.

The 32-year-old is in no doubt about the importance of Clarke to the Kilmarnock success story.

"The manager is the most important thing at the football club, then the players," he said.

"We have a man in charge now who is like a teacher. You're learning every day. You're not just coming in and getting on with things.

"It can become like that, you come in and just do the same thing with no questions asked. He's always asking questions, but in a certain way.

"He'll always challenge you in different ways in training and see players' reactions, which is a skill in itself," Dicker added. "He's doing something without saying something, which is quite hard to do. Nobody else could have come in and done what he's done."

Clarke joined Kilmarnock in 2017 after a spell as Aston Villa assistant manager, having been manager of West Bromwich Albion and Reading, has suggested that he has unfinished business in English football and Fulham have been linked with an interest after his success at Rugby Park.

"The turnaround has been mental," Dicker added. "I think, if you look at all the teams down at the bottom this year, the managers they've brought in have ripped their squads apart. The manager didn't do that here.

"He could easily have come in and said, 'they're not good enough, not my signings', like most people come in and say. 'I'm going to get my own players, can't wait for the window'."

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