Scotland in no rush to appoint successor to McLeish

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The Independent Football

Scotland's next manager could be months away from being appointed after the Scottish Football Association's chief executive Gordon Smith vowed he would keep an open mind and not rush the decision.

The Scottish Football Association held a 90-minute meeting yesterday, but only the process of choosing a new manager was discussed and not the numerous names bandied about as potential candidates.

The Hampden meeting had initially been arranged to discuss Birmingham's approach to the SFA, which was rejected, before Alex McLeish's written resignation on Tuesday unexpectedly speeded up matters.

The Premier League club wasted no time in unveiling their new manager, with compensation still to be decided, but Smith admitted it could be as late as spring before the SFA do the same.

Smith said: "We had a meeting this morning and all we were looking at was the process. I have been given responsibility to try to find the candidates. There have been loads of names put about, but we'll be taking our time over it. There's no time-frame on it at all either because we don't want to be rushed into it. We don't think we'll be appointing anyone until the early part of next year, I'm pretty sure about that."

The Scots have no friendlies planned but are likely to play on at least one of the upcoming international fixture dates on 6 February and 26 March.

Billy Davies declared himself open to offers after he left Derby on Monday, while Graeme Souness has expressed his interest in international management.

Smith expects the new man to be a Scot, although he is not ruling out Scotland's second foreign manager following Berti Vogts.

He said: "I think a large number of people will want to put themselves forward for the job. We're hoping it is going to be a Scottish person. I think that's very important."