McLeish rules himself out of Scotland job

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The Independent Football

The Hibernian manager Alex McLeish insists that he is not ready to take over as Scotland coach if Craig Brown steps down at the end of his contract in December.

The former Scotland international, who won 77 caps for his country, has emerged as a favourite to take over from Brown if the national coach leaves his job at the end of the year. But McLeish, who has guided Hibs from the First Division to the Uefa Cup and the Scottish Cup final in just two years, wants to continue his managerial career at club level – for the time being. "There has been some speculation and some ex-colleagues have mentioned my name and it is all very flattering," McLeish said. "But, at this moment in time, I don't think the job is for me.

"I hope that I can continue doing a good job at club level. Maybe one day the national team is something I would consider, but, just now, I don't feel it is right for me to take it."

The Scottish Football Association insists that it will not rush into a decision on Brown's future as national coach. Scotland's 2-0 defeat to Belgium in Brussels on Wednesday all but ended their hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup finals.

The day when Celtic and Rangers meet Liverpool and Manchester United in domestic competition seemed far away yesterday when Uefa, the sport's European governing body, backtracked on earlier comments that it would not stand in the way of a plan by the Glasgow pair to join the English Premiership.

Uefa's chief executive Gerhard Aigner said: "The idea of these two clubs joining the Premier League was brought up by the clubs themselves but Uefa's position is that it believes in the national structures for the basis of our competition.

"We do not, as such, support teams moving from one country to another. In this specific case, if both associations and the league wish to change this principle they must make a proposal to the international bodies."

Uefa will announce its decision on a proposed venue switch for Rangers' Uefa Cup tie against Anzhi Makhachkala on Monday. The Ibrox club have been struggling to get insurance for their squad and staff to travel to Dagestan in Russia, where the game is due to be played.

The Scottish Football Association has joined the chorus from both the Ibrox club and the Foreign Office in expressing their desire for Uefa to switch the tie to another city.