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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 09:52 GMT
Smith set to hold Scotland talks
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Walter Smith
Walter Smith will hold talks about taking over as Scotland manager after Wednesday's friendly against Sweden.

BBC Sport understands the former Rangers and Everton boss has now been contacted by the Scottish Football Association about the job.

Smith is hot favourite to succeed Berti Vogts, who resigned after a poor start to Scotland's World Cup campaign.

Vogts' assistant, Tommy Burns, is in temporary charge for the game against Sweden at Easter Road.

The SFA's move confirms Smith is first-choice to take over from Vogts and rebuild the country's international reputation.

Smith is likely to want to take his long-time assistant, Archie Knox, with him to work within the international set-up if talks go well.

He already has the backing of many pundits and fans, including former Scotland manager Craig Brown and Newcastle boss Graeme Souness.

Brown said: "Walter is an outstanding candidate without doubt.

"He would be admirable choice. I spoke to him on Sunday and I got the impression he would take it. He was asking me about it and I was positive."

Souness told BBC Sport: "He fits the bill because of his knowledge and understanding of the Scotland team and football. He is experienced and has been successful.

"Walter is a real football person, as I know from working with him at Ibrox.

"On top of all that, he is a proper human being who would command the instant respect of the players and everyone involved in Scottish football."

The Scottish Football Association refused to comment about possible talks with Smith as the national squad assembled for Burns' first game as caretaker manager.

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