Gordon Smith is in no hurry to replace George Burley
Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith insists the selection panel will not be rushed into naming a successor to sacked boss George Burley.
However, the new man should be revealed before the Euro 2012 draw in February.
Smith refused to be drawn on prospective candidates but did not rule out the appointment of a foreign coach.
And he added that any decision to welcome banned duo Allan McGregor and Barry Ferguson back into the Hampden fold would be up to the new manager.
Smith told a media conference at Hampden on Wednesday morning: "We will be sitting down very shortly to look at the criteria in terms of the type of candidate going forward who has experience, and someone who has authority and a reputation in the game.
"That's the kind of person we're looking for - someone who can take the team forward and take the team to the next level, which would be qualification for the European Championships in 2012."
McGregor and Ferguson were permanently suspended in April following a breach of discipline, but Smith says the new manager can decide for himself whether or not to end their expulsion.
He told reporters: "The new manager will have a say in who he wants to play because when I brought in a new code of conduct for the SFA it meant that the manager has the decision on all forms of discipline within the team.
"I felt it was the best way forward that the manager should be totally responsible for decisions regarding disciplinary matters and will decide who he picks and who he doesn't pick.
"That will be the same if a new manager comes in.
"I'm quite sure he'll be given the licence to pick whoever he wants, provided the ones who are out of the scene do want to be involved and do want to show the supporters that they are still people who want to play for their international team and repatriate themselves."
The one thing you can never tell when someone gets appointed to a job is whether they're going to be a success
SFA chief executive Gordon Smith
While Rangers goalkeeper McGregor and his former team-mate Ferguson, now at Birmingham City, could now have an international future, the door could also be open for Ibrox striker Kris Boyd, who said he wouldn't play for Scotland while George Burley was in charge.
As speculation grows over who will lead Scotland into the Euro 2012 qualifiers, Smith defended the SFA board's decision to appoint Burley 22 months ago.
"The SFA chose George to go forward, because we did our homework on him in terms of his qualities as a manager, his abilities at club level," he said.
"The one thing you can never tell when someone gets appointed to a job is whether they're going to be a success.
"George wanted to form Scotland into an entertaining side and it just didn't work out."
Smith explained the board's decision to sack Burley just two games after the former Ipswich, Hearts and Southampton manager had been been given the nod to continue in the post after a dismal World Cup qualifying campaign.
"Considering the better performances in the last couple of games, we decided to review going forward and see if that had actually brought a change in terms of how the team was playing," he said.
"We decided that because we had no competitive match for a year, we would allow George to continue into the next two friendlies to see if that improvement could be sustained.
"That's why we reacted after Saturday's match to make the change now and say that time was up. We felt that it was important to give George the opportunity."
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