THE prospect of Joe Jordan becoming the new Scotland manager look set to diminish today when he is expected to commit himself to Queen’s Park Rangers’ bid for English Premier League survival.
Jordan is set to sign a contract as first-team coach of QPR and formally renew his working relationship with the London club’s new manager Harry Redknapp.
Former Scotland striker Jordan, 60, was with Redknapp on the QPR bench for their 0-0 draw away to Sunderland on Tuesday night, which left them four points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table.
Following the SFA’s dismissal of Craig Levein earlier this month, Jordan had emerged as one of the favourites to succeed him. His case was championed by many in the game, including his former World Cup team-mate Graeme Souness.
Jordan had been out of work since the summer, following Redknapp’s surprise dismissal as Tottenham manager, and made no secret of his interest in taking charge of his country.
Redknapp, who has had Jordan by his side at both Portsmouth and Tottenham in the past, has consistently stated he would not stand in his close friend’s way if the opportunity to manage Scotland ever presented itself.
But, with the SFA deciding to take their time over recruiting Levein’s replacement, no contact has been made with any potential candidate so far, as the organisation’s chief executive, Stewart Regan, draws up a shortlist.
Jordan’s name may yet be on that list but, if the SFA decide he is the man they want, then they will now have to go through QPR with the possibility of financial compensation being required.
Gordon Strachan, still out of work after his ill-fated spell as Middlesbrough manager, remains the bookmakers’ favourite for the job. Owen Coyle, sacked last month as Bolton Wanderers boss, is second favourite.
The odds have also shortened in recent weeks on Billy Stark, the Scotland under-21 coach, who took interim charge of the senior squad for their 2-1 friendly win in Luxembourg earlier this month.
Stark, who was praised by the SFA for his handling of the situation following Levein’s exit, is interested in the top job and may yet remain at the helm for Scotland’s next fixture, a friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie on 6 February.
Scotland do not resume their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign until March, when they have back-to-back matches at home to Wales and away to Serbia. The Scots are currently bottom of the six-team Group A, having taken just two points from their first four games of the campaign under Levein.