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Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Duo keen on Scotland manager role


Craig Brown assesses the likely candidates

John Collins and Jimmy Calderwood are both interested in succeeding George Burley as manager of Scotland.

"Any Scottish manager would see it as a wonderful challenge," former Aberdeen and Dunfermline boss Calderwood told BBC Radio Scotland.

A star midfielder for Scotland in his day, Collins said: "I'd be interested in managing the national team. But it's not for me to put my name forward.

"But let's make no mistake about it, it's a very tough job."

The 41-year-old played for his country at the 1998 World Cup and has been out of management since leaving Belgian side Charleroi at the end of last season.

Having watched the current squad deliver a run of poor results under Burley, the former Hibernian boss believes there will be no quick fixes under the next incumbent.

"As Graeme Souness said the other day, no-one is going to come in with a magic wand and turn us into a fantastic football team," said Collins, who won 58 caps.

"There is a lot of work to be done and it will be one stage at a time.

"The role of any manager in the world is to take a group of players and make them better, make them perform at their peak.

"It's not always an easy thing to do but the objective is to make them better individually and collectively, make them harder to score against, more creative when they've got the ball."

With only 14 months in charge at Easter Road and half a season in the top flight in Belgium, Collins may lack the experience to land the job.

However, someone at the other end of the spectrum in that respect is Craig Brown, 69, who was in charge of the national team for eight years.

Asked on Radio Scotland if he would be interested in returning to the role, Brown said: "I would certainly never let my country down, even if in the short term there was a requirement.

"But I don't want to appear as if I am touting for a job."

Calderwood left Aberdeen at the end of last season, having served the Pittodrie club for five years.

And when quizzed about his interest in the vacancy, the 54-year-old replied: "I think any true Scotsman would be.

"I know a lot of people say it's a poisoned chalice but I think it would be a wonderful honour.

"I think the players have shown in certain games that they can perform and we have a reasonable set of players."

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies said he is flattered to be linked with the job but would not be drawn on whether he wants the role.

However, he did offer his thought on the post, telling BBC Scotland: "Everybody talks about it being a poisoned chalice. I don't go along with that.

"You've got to be a leader, to have that presence that commands respect. You've got to get the best out of the players. I think in that squad there are players who are capable of getting you a goal."

Rangers manager Walter Smith was quizzed about a possible return to international duty in September, following Scotland's failure to reach the World Cup play-off places.


Having left Scotland for a second stint at Ibrox in January 2007, Smith said that he could not see himself going back to the national team although his future at Rangers remains unclear, with his contract due to expire in January.

Craig Levein has been installed as the favourite by several bookmakers and the Dundee United boss is thought to be open to an approach from the Scottish Football Association, an organisation he has clashed with several times.

Souness, who lost out to Burley in the interview process last time, has already told BBC Scotland he has no interest in returning to any job in football management.

Meanwhile, Burnley manager Owen Coyle has ruled himself out of consideration for the post.

"I'm the Burnley manager and I'm loving everything I'm doing at the football club," he said before offering Scottish football fans some words of hope.

"You want someone who can deliver success. There's no reason, with the young group of players that is coming through and the right man in charge to add that magic ingredient, why Scotland can't go on to qualify for major championships," added Coyle.

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see also
Mission Impossible for Scotland?
17 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Burley sacked as Scotland manager
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Scotland's search begins
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Burley's reign in pictures
16 Nov 09 |  Scotland
Chick Young's view
16 Nov 09 |  Scottish Premier
The rise and fall of Burley
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Scotland are limited says Souness
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Smith rules out Scotland return
15 Sep 09 |  Internationals

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