CRAIG Levein has targeted a swift return to management and insisted he has no regrets about his spell in charge of Scotland, which ended with a qualifying record of three wins from 12 games.
The former Scotland manager was relieved of his duties on 5 November last year and subsequently resigned, before taking legal action last month against the SFA, who had offered to honour his contract in full. Levein served a writ in a bid to secure the entire value of his contract in a lump sum.
That wrangle could yet be played out in the courts, but Levein – appearing on BBC’s Sportscene programme on Sunday evening – was keen to concentrate on the positive aspects of his near three-year spell as national manager. “I’ve no regrets. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as Scotland manager and it was great working with the players and the supporters were excellent as well. I just wish we could’ve got some better results, that was all,” said Levein, who was removed from the post after Scotland mustered only two points from their opening four 2014 World Cup qualifying fixtures.
Levein added: “It’s never nice to lose your job and I did feel there was a lot of progress. Some well-documented things didn’t go our way, some results in particular, but that’s football. Of course it’s sore – I loved the job and wanted to continue doing the job. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be the case.”
Gordon Strachan was unveiled as Levein’s successor last week and will soon get his first chance to pick a squad with the 6 February friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie fast approaching. Levein admitted that it had only “hit home” that he was no longer the Scotland manager when Strachan was appointed, but he wasted no time in contacting his fellow former international to wish him well. “It’s about ten weeks since I left and it’s quite surreal. You’re in the job and you leave. Normally what happens in football is somebody takes your job almost immediately. There’s been this kind of period where the SFA have been waiting as there’s no need to put somebody in immediately. Then it hits home when Gordon gets the job last week.”
Former Leicester manager Levein, who said he would be keen to work in England again, added: “He’s a great guy and I’ve got an awful lot of time for Gordon. I sent him a text and he called me. We had a brief chat and I wished him the very best of luck. I’ll be the biggest Scotland supporter and will be watching the games. I worked very closely with the staff there and have a huge amount of respect for them all. Fingers crossed they’ll do very well.”