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Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Smith explains Scotland decision


Smith laments Rangers injuries

Rangers boss Walter Smith has ruled out returning to manage Scotland for a second spell.

Smith, 61, who enjoyed a three-year spell in charge of the Scots before returning to Ibrox in 2007, does not want to succeed George Burley.

"I don't feel it would be right to go back. That's the situation," he said.

Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish has refused to be drawn on whether he would like to succeed Burley, who was sacked on Monday after 22 months in the job.

Smith's current deal at Rangers runs out in January and he has indicated that he would work without a contract for the Scottish champions.

But speaking on Friday he said he had no interest in a second stint with the national side.

"It's not a matter of withdrawing because I don't even know if I was going to be considered or not," said Smith at a media conference at Murray Park.

"I was trying to quell the media speculation about whether I would go back to do a job I had done previously.

"It wasn't a case of turning it down because I haven't been asked to go back yet. I thought it would be better to clarify the situation.

"I enjoyed my time there before but I made the conscious decision to leave.

"The matter is now closed as far as I am concerned."

Every Scot in management is being asked about this at the moment but I have nothing to say on it

Kenny Dalglish

Smith took over after Berti Vogts's disastrous reign as Scotland manager in December 2004 and succeeded in improving the team's standings in the Fifa rankings, though qualification for the 2006 World Cup eluded him.

Despite declaring that he would not be making a Hampden return, the Rangers manager offered Burley's successor some hope.

"I still think Scotland have got a decent level of player to acquit themselves", said Smith.

"Look at the likes of Northern Ireland and the Republic - they have been doing well. I think Scotland can reach that level."

The Scottish Football Association has begun the search for Burley's replacement but stresses it will not be rushed into making a decision.

Dalglish, who earned 102 caps for Scotland and now holds a senior role at Liverpool's academy, has not stated whether he wants the job.

"There's no point in prostituting yourself," he said.

"Every Scot in management is being asked about this at the moment but I have nothing to say on it."

Dalglish said he did not expect the SFA to make an appointment until January or February.

"Why pay somebody wages when there's no game?"

Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo and former Scotland midfielder John Collins have admitted their interest in succeeding Burley.

Dundee United boss Craig Levein remains the bookies' favourite to fill the vacancy.

Scotland's next match is a friendly against the Czech Republic at Hampden in March.

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see also
Laszlo interested in Scotland job
19 Nov 09 |  Hearts
Hegarty dismay at Scotland exit
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Gers boss no plans for Scots job
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Smith in no rush to name new boss
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Burley sacked as Scotland manager
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Dalglish makes Liverpool return
04 Jul 09 |  Liverpool

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