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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 00:50 GMT
Sir Alex backs McLeish for Scots
Sir Alex Ferguson and Alex McLeish
Sir Alex Ferguson and Alex McLeish are good friends
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has backed Alex McLeish, hotly tipped to be the new manager of Scotland.

"I think he's ideal, I think it's perfect," Ferguson told the League Managers' Association website.

"He's had a good grooming in management. He's been with Motherwell, Hibs and Rangers.

"During his four-and-a-half years at Rangers he won trophies and had the experience of dealing with difficult situations at Rangers."

Scotland are seeking a new manager after Walter Smith was persuaded to return to Ibrox after a disappointing time under Paul Le Guen.

The Frenchman had succeeded McLeish but failed to challenge Celtic for the Scottish title.
He did a fantastic job at Rangers

Sir Alex Ferguson

Now McLeish is emerging as number one on a shortlist of four drawn up on Monday by the Scottish FA.

Ferguson was McLeish's manager when both were at Aberdeen, they remain good friends and he has defended him against critics of his time as Rangers manager.

"I think only now, the Rangers fans and the Scottish media recognise what a really good job he did," Ferguson.

"He did a fantastic job at Rangers because he had even less resources than Paul Le Guen, but he still kept them at a very, very good level.

"So he is without question in my mind the ideal choice for the job."

The first task facing Smith's successor will be the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Georgia and Italy in March.

"Alex is an intelligent lad and he'll look to add to what Walter has done," added Ferguson.

"Rather than be disillusioned that Walter has left, I think that we should be happy that a younger man with the credentials of Alex McLeish, who is Scottish, can do the job."

SEE ALSO
Burns severs ties with Scotland
18 Jan 07 |  Internationals
Scotland role appeals to McLeish
16 Jan 07 |  Internationals
Scotland begin successor search
10 Jan 07 |  Internationals


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