Graeme Souness not interested in Scotland job

 

Graeme Souness has hailed Joe Jordan as the “perfect” candidate to become Scotland's next manager.

The Scottish Football Association began the search for a new national team boss after sacking Craig Levein on November 5.

Souness, who ruled himself out of the running, also believes Gordon Strachan has the credentials for the job, but says he would opt for Jordan.

Jordan has managed Bristol City, Hearts and Stoke and most recently worked as first-team coach under Harry Redknapp at Tottenham.

Souness said: "I think your man is Joe Jordan. He would be my choice if I was making the decision. He's an obvious candidate. Everyone knows the passion that Joe showed when he was a player. He would be perfect. He fits the bill.

"He's knowledgeable, he has worked at the highest level, played at the highest level and is extremely passionate. He's your man.

"Joe would obviously do things differently; whoever gets the job will do it differently.

"He has vast experience at international level and has operated in the highest league down in England for the last 10 years, working with good people.

"He's extremely knowledgeable and he's an intelligent football man."

Strachan was quickly installed as the bookmakers' favourite for the role and Souness added: "He's another real genuine candidate. In fact, him and Joe would be the outstanding candidates."

However, there is no chance of the former Liverpool and Rangers boss throwing his own hat into the ring.

Souness was on a four-man shortlist when Levein's predecessor George Burley landed the job but has no interest this time around.

Asked if he would be open to an approach from the SFA, he said: "No, it's not for me.

"I'm older, not necessarily wiser, but I'm certainly older and I just feel it's not for me at this time. It's not something I would consider."

Levein was sacked following a poor start to the World Cup qualifying campaign, which left Scotland bottom of the group without a win after four matches.

Souness added: "Management full stop is very hard, but when you're the manager of a national team it's not as though you can go out and buy players. You've got a group of players and you've got to make the most of it.

"There is an element of luck in every football match and sometimes it doesn't go for you.

"I wouldn't be critical of Craig Levein in any shape or form, but I can fully understand why the SFA felt they had to make a change.

"Craig might look back and think he could have done things differently but it's a hard, hard job.

"When you think of the game in Cardiff last month (a 2-1 defeat to Wales), it was hard on Scotland.

"I don't think we played badly in the first half, we had a perfectly good goal disallowed and those are things that can get you the sack. Little daft decisions like that can get you the sack.

"Management is a hard job but you know when you go into management there is a real chance you are going to end up with the sack. I'm sure Craig was fully aware of that when he went into the job."

Despite ruling himself out of the running, Souness does not believe the Scotland job is now a poisoned chalice.

He said: "Without being critical of the present group of players, it's not the most talented group of players Scotland have ever had. But there are some very good players in there and they all appear to give their all when I watch them play.

"You just need a little bit of belief, a bit of luck, and that can change everything. You go on a roll and then you become a very difficult team to play against.

"The last Scotland game I came to was against Italy here at Hampden. We should have beaten Italy that day and, with a bit of luck, we would have done.

"The margins are so fine and you just need that little bit of edge sometimes and I don't think Craig enjoyed that. I think he was a bit unfortunate."

PA

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