Gary Caldwell: “I can make a difference as Scotland manager”

Gary Caldwell, seen here during his time at Chesterfield, believes he can make a difference as Scotland boss. Picture: Getty Images
Gary Caldwell, seen here during his time at Chesterfield, believes he can make a difference as Scotland boss. Picture: Getty Images
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Gary Caldwell has submitted his application for the Scotland job and insisted: “If I didn’t believe I could make an impact, I wouldn’t put myself forward.”

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The former Scotland defender has spoken with Scottish FA chief Stewart Regan and his number two Rod Petrie, and has management experience at club level with Wigan Athletic and Chesterfield.

Caldwell, capped 55 times by Scotland, told BBC Scotland he doesn’t think a lack of experience will hold him back.

He said: “International football in the past used to be that somebody had a career [in management] and it was one of their later jobs.

“Nowadays, it’s a job for younger people. A new, fresher approach is going to give you more benefit.”

The vacancy was due to be discussed at an SFA board meeting at Hampden today.

Scottish football’s governing body had identified Michael O’Neill as their number one target but the Northern Ireland boss turned down an approach last month, admitting he didn’t think it was the right move for him.

Regan insisted after O’Neill’s rejection that a number of new candidates had got in touch regarding the role, which has been vacant since Gordon Strachan departed in October last year.

Caldwell is adamant, however, that he can do what Berti Vogts, Walter Smith, Alex McLeish, George Burley, Craig Levein and Strachan all failed to do, and take Scotland to a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.

Caldwell continued: “I only want the job because I feel I can make a difference. A club job is different. You want a job because you want to work. I want to contribute in whatever way I can to get to get this country to a major finals.

“I have spoken to Stewart Regan, I’ve spoken to Rod Petrie and other people. Hopefully my name will come up at the meeting.”

Caldwell scored twice for Scotland during his playing career, including the winner against France in a 1-0 win at Hampden. And the former Celtic and Hibs centre-back insists this can help him thrive in the hotseat.

“I understand international football, the tactics, the approach that you have to have to games both offensively and defensively.

“With my experience at that level, I can work with these players and bring something different that’s going to help us get to major finals.

“I have a lot to offer. A young person with different ideas to take the country forward. We need to have a new approach.”

Caldwell succeeded Scotland performance director Malky Mackay as Wigan manager towards the end of the 2014/15 season, with the club in the English Championship relegation zone.

Although the Latics were relegated, Caldwell led them to a swift return to the English second tier during his first full campaign in charge.

However, in October 2016, Caldwell was sacked by Wigan, with the club in 23rd position and winless in four games.

His second managerial stint at Chesterfield saw him dismissed by the Spireites after just eight months. During his tenure, the club was relegated and continued to decline in League Two. Caldwell departed having won just three games in 29.

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