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Levein will need results - Smith

Craig Levein
Smith says Levein will be expected to produce results quickly for Scotland

Rangers manager Walter Smith has warned Craig Levein he will need to make an immediate impact as Scotland manager.

The Scottish Football Association has confirmed that Levein has agreed a deal in principle to succeed George Burley as the new Scotland head coach.

"Patience is not something you are going to get," said Smith, who managed Scotland before Burley.

"There isn't such a thing. That's one of the pressures that you take on board when you go to the national team."

Smith took over the reins at Scotland following Berti Vogts' disastrous spell in charge but has backed Levein to be a success in the same role.

I don't think it should be for me to give him advice. I just hope, like everybody else, that he does extremely well in the job

Rangers manager Walter Smith

"It's good to have everyone behind you, but you have to go in and show there is an upturn right away," said Smith.

"That's the same for every managerial job.

"I think Scotland have still got a good squad of players and a squad of players who still have a basis to achieve a decent level of success.

"I don't think anybody is going to say we are going to win tournaments or anything like that.

"But I think Craig can get the team back up into a position where we would be challenging for qualification for finals to tournaments.

"That would ultimately be a success for Scotland."

Smith ruled himself out of the running to replace Burley after reports suggested he had emerged as one of the SFA's preferred candidates to succeed Burley.

But, despite his reluctance to return to the role he held for two years, the Ibrox boss insisted the role offers plenty of challenges.

"I don't think it's a poisoned chalice," said Smith.

"There is nowhere near the number of people playing football now in Scotland that there should be and that always limits your opportunities at the top level.

We have narrowly missed out on qualifying for major championships in recent years, and I'm sure that Craig can lead Scotland to the European Championship in 2012

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond

"But I still think we have a number of players that can bring success. That lack of players isn't just in Scotland, it's happening in a load of countries.

"Scotland still have a number of players who, if you get them together - which Craig has been good at with his teams - still have the opportunity to succeed."

Asked what advice he would offer Levein, Smith replied: "To go in and enjoy the job and hopefully get everything together again and get Scotland going well.

"But I don't think it should be for me to give him advice. I just hope, like everybody else, that he does extremely well in the job.

"It's important that our national team, as well as our club sides, show that the profile of Scottish football is good. That includes the national team, so I hope Craig does well."

Meanwhile, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond offered his congratulations to Levein and said he hoped the former Dundee United manager would be in a position to take Scotland to a major international tournament soon.

"I wish Craig Levein every success as Scotland manager," said Salmond.

"I know he will have the full support of the Tartan Army and everyone in Scotland.

"He has been a successful club manager, and will put his considerable skills and knowledge to good use for the national team.

"We have narrowly missed out on qualifying for major championships in recent years and I'm sure that Craig can lead Scotland to the European Championship in 2012."



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see also
Levein needs good start - Smith
23 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Gers boss no plans for Scots job
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Smith explains Scotland decision
20 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Smith warns of Scots frustration
18 Dec 09 |  Internationals


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