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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 15:46 GMT
Strachan backs McGhee Scots link
Mark McGhee (left) and Gordon Strachan
Strachan (right) says McGhee would be a successful Scotland manager
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan says it is "the perfect time" for Mark McGhee to become the new Scotland coach.

Strachan, a former team-mate of the current Motherwell manager, said: "Mark could do the job, no problem.

"There are other good candidates but I think it's the perfect time if he wants to do it. Mark has shown in his short time here what he can do."

Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish, now at Birmingham City, said McGhee would be an ideal successor.

Strachan and McGhee were team-mates at Aberdeen and the latter was installed as Motherwell manager in June.

McGhee, who played for the Dons, Celtic, Hamburg and Newcastle, had previously managed Reading, Leicester, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Millwall and Brighton before moving to Fir Park.

The 50-year-old has steered Motherwell to third in the SPL table and has attracted plaudits for his team's style of play.

Strachan said McGhee would be an asset to the national side.

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish
He's a very intelligent coach who has had a lot of experience playing in Scotland, England and abroad

Birmingham manager
Alex McLeish

"You have different people with different attributes. I think Mark has shown in the short time here what he can do," said Strachan.

"Plus, if you actually look at his record with other clubs and even when he went to Wolves, everybody before and after him got loads of money, but somehow he didn't get too much money.

"He did a fantastic job and also nearly took Reading into the Premiership - so he's first-class."

McLeish, who joined Birmingham last month after narrowly missing out on steering Scotland to the Euro 2008 finals, said McGhee would make a superb Scotland manager.

"I would say the SFA should go for Mark. I'm sure he'd enjoy the Scotland job," McLeish told the Daily Record.

"He's a very intelligent coach who has had a lot of experience playing in Scotland, England and abroad."


"I don't think they will go down the foreigner road again but I wouldn't rule out an Englishman because I don't class them as foreigners."

The former Scotland manager said McGhee had all the qualities to be a success with the national side.

"He would lap it up. It's obviously a wee bit of time to wait and whether or not he feels he is ready to do it - I don't know," said McLeish.

The SFA has said it will not rush into appointing McLeish's successor.

And on Monday former USA coach Bruce Arena was quoted saying he was interested in the job.

"I would definitely be very interested in the Scotland vacancy," Arena told The Sun.

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