Vogts: Scotland is full of poor players


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The Independent Football

The former Scotland manager Alex McLeish believes there are numerous strong candidates to succeed Craig Levein, including caretaker Billy Stark. But Berti Vogts, who was in charge of the Scotland team for two years ending in 2004, believes whoever gets the job will be stymied by "poor players".

The Scottish Football Association sacked Levein last week after a miserable start to the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign and Stark, the Under-21 manager, will take charge of tonight's friendly in Luxembourg.

Joe Jordan, Gordon Strachan and Walter Smith have all been mentioned as the next manager, with the Scottish Football Association to begin the hunt in earnest following the Luxembourg trip.

McLeish, who was speaking at a Positive Coaching Scotland seminar at Hampden Park, said: "We'd need a miracle to get to Brazil now but hopefully the next group of games is going to give us optimism for the following tournament [Euro 2016]. There are plenty of good candidates to take us forward.

"Gordon fits the bill. People were saying I recommended Joe Jordan the other day, but I mentioned him in the same breath as Gordon. I don't know what Walter's feeling is on it, but these are all guys who have definitely got the stature to handle that job. I don't know if Billy wants the job. I'm sure if he was asked it would be a different story."

McLeish's personal preference is a return to club football after leaving Aston Villa. "It's not something I'm actively pursuing," he added. "I feel I've got unfinished business in club football and I still harbour the day-to-day involvement."

Meanwhile Vogts, who endured a fractious relationship with fans and media before resigning, said: "I heard about Craig Levein only yesterday... I know how he feels. When you take over Scotland you have to live with certain things, with the Scottish media and a lot of poor players. I understand, yes. Expectations are too high, always. They do not invest many pounds in youth and you have to do that."

The SFA chief executive Stewart Regan believes the Luxembourg game is an ideal chance for Stark to prove his credentials. He said: "Billy has got a great opportunity to show what he can do. He's a great guy, he has been very committed to the Under-21s.

"He has agreed to take this position on an interim basis, until the board have decided on the next step.

"Depending on how Billy performs and his own views, then clearly we would keep the door open for any potential candidate at this stage."