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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 13:36 GMT
McLeish open-minded on Scots job
Alex McLeish left Rangers at the end of last season
Watch the full interview... Football Focus
Sat 13 Jan, from 1210 GMT
Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish has not ruled himself out of succeeding Walter Smith as Scotland boss.

McLeish told Football Focus: "It's all hypothetical and I know it is not easy to get a good job in football because there are many fine coaches out there.

"But my game plan and focus is to get back into club football, whether in England or whether in Europe.

"I am very flattered to be linked with the job. I have never been offered it yet, but in football you never know."

The Scotland job became vacant when Rangers persuaded Smith to return for a second spell in charge at Ibrox.

And McLeish became an early bookmakers' favourite along with Smith's Scotland assistant, the Celtic youth coach Tommy Burns.
The lure of Rangers was too great for Walter to resist

Alex McLeish

McLeish, who has been out of coaching since leaving Rangers at the end of last season, admits that the Scotland job would be tempting.

"The pride thing is obviously something you have to contemplate," he said.

"But my mind is on club football just now.

"I have watched a lot of Premiership games and been abroad and have kept my finger on the pulse."

McLeish could therefore understand Smith's motivation for leaving the Scotland job.

"Walter did a magnificent job and restored pride and dignity back to the Scotland team," he said.

606: DEBATE
Stevie

"He will be well aware that the Tartan hordes will be gutted at him leaving, but the lure of Rangers was too great for Walter to resist."

McLeish also recognises that Smith will be required to perform a similar salvaging act at Ibrox after a disappointing six months under Paul Le Guen.

"He has a task, but I believe, in this case, that it is right for him to go back," he said.

"It is a time for stabilisation at Rangers.

"We brought some success to Rangers. But each year it became more difficult with the budgets becoming lower and lower.

"In the last four or five seasons, Rangers have been bringing in five or six new players every summer to play in their first-team.

"It takes time for players to gel and, if you are taking them from the second tier or third tier in Europe, it is a risk.

"I think Rangers will get back to signing British or Scottish players, although in my time it was cheaper to bring in foreigners."

SEE ALSO
Smith claims SFA contract blunder
11 Jan 07 |  Internationals
Chick Young's view
10 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Scotland begin successor search
10 Jan 07 |  Internationals
SFA to launch Smith legal action
10 Jan 07 |  Internationals
Smith appointed boss of Rangers
10 Jan 07 |  Rangers


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