Scottish FA have dozens of applications for Scotland job

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Ian Maxwell, Rod Petrie, Alan McRae
The Scottish Football Association board - including (left to right) chief executive Ian Maxwell, vice president Rod Petrie, and president Alan McRae - met on Tuesday

Dozens of managers from around the world - with club and international experience - have shown an interest in the vacant Scotland job.

The Scottish FA held a board meeting on Tuesday in an attempt to identify a successor to Alex McLeish.

And it was decided chief executive Ian Maxwell will do due diligence on those who have applied before reporting back within the next week to 10 days.

Scotland have Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium in June.

Performance director Malky Mackay and under-21 coach Scot Gemmill have been suggested as interim candidates, with the squad for those matches due to be announced in the week of 27 May.

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke is also among the favourites to replace McLeish, whose second spell as national team coach ended on Thursday after 14 months in charge.

Clarke said on Friday he would be interested in international management "at some stage", but could be facing a Scottish FA charge after castigating referee Steven McLean the following day.

McLeish, 60, took charge for a second time in February 2018 but came under increasing pressure after a poor start to the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

His departure came a month after Scotland were humiliated 3-0 by world ranked 117 nation Kazakhstan, then recorded an unconvincing 2-0 win over San Marino, the world's lowest-ranked side.

Key questions for Scottish FA board - analysis

The eight-strong Scottish FA board must identify someone who will take on a job that pays less than the equivalent at many English Championship clubs and deal with clubs reluctant to release players.

They will consider the following questions:

  • Is the candidate looking at this as a stepping stone to a club job?
  • Can he persuade clubs to allow their players to join up and play on artificial pitches?
  • Can he persuade players that qualifying for a major finals can have a positive impact on their careers?
  • Can he unite and galvanise the Tartan Army?

Serious contenders are thin in the ground. Clarke is the standout candidate, but can he be lured with suitors in England watching his stock rise? Mackay and Gemmill could offer a joint solution in the short term, and the likes of David Moyes and Slaven Bilic are also likely to be considered..

Neil Lennon would have been another to seriously consider, but he has other things on his mind as he tries to earn the Celtic job on a permanent basis.

Others will undoubtedly be discussed, but the heat is on the board to ensure there are no mistakes this time around.

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