Paul Dickov: Scotland mustn't have foreign manager

Paul Dickov has urged the Scottish FA to avoid any temptation to appoint a foreign manager in the event of Gordon Strachan's tenure coming to an end in the aftermath of last Friday's 3-0 defeat by England at Wembley.

Northern Ireland boss Michael ONeill, who lives in Edinburgh, is among fancied contenders for the Scotland managers job if it becomes available. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Strachan is currently understood to be considering his future during a short break in Portugal and is expected to discuss his position with Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan later this week.

Bookmakers have already drawn up odds on Strachan’s replacement, with Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill and former Sweden and Iceland boss Lars Lagerback among the fancied contenders.

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But former Scotland striker Dickov, who won seven of his ten caps during the ill-fated reign of the country’s first and so far only foreign manager, Berti Vogts, believes it is a path the Scottish FA should not go down again. And he insists that should also apply to O’Neill, regardless of the former Hibs and Dundee United striker having spent much of his career in Scotland and still living in Edinburgh.

“I know Michael well and he will be buzzing at the job he is doing with Northern Ireland right now,” said Dickov. “But if it came down to it, I would like to see a Scottish manager getting the Scotland job.

“Personally, I wouldn’t like to see us going down the route of another foreign manager. I’m a big believer that the national team manager should come from that country.”

The defeat at Wembley left Scotland second bottom of Group F in their quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals, four points behind second-placed Slovenia who are the visitors to Hampden in the next round of fixtures on 26 March.

Dickov, himself currently out of management after spells at Oldham and Doncaster, believes Strachan will still be in charge for that match.

“Gordon will be hurting more than anyone after the past few results we have had,” added Dickov. “But my own opinion is that he will stay and won’t walk. Because if you are going to resign from a managerial job, you usually do it fairly quickly after a bad result and he’s not done it yet.

“As a manager, it’s not just one result that tells you that you’ve gone as far as you can with a team, it’s the things leading up to it. You don’t just lose one game and think ‘I’m going to resign now’. It’s over an amount of time that it usually happens.

“But who else will want to take it and who are we going to get that can progress and take us further?

“There’s so much scrutiny on the managers of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales that it’s a very difficult job. But one thing I will say about Gordon is that he is involved behind the scenes with the young players and he knows how the system works now. So Gordon staying would give it continuity.”