Steve Clarke plays down talk linking him with Scotland job

Steve Clarke has played down speculation linking him with the Scotland job. Picture: SNS Group
Steve Clarke has played down speculation linking him with the Scotland job. Picture: SNS Group
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Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke has played down speculation linking him with the Scotland job.

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The Rugby Park chief has shot up the list of contenders for the Hampden post in the wake of Michael O’Neill’s decision to snub the Scottish Football Association’s offer.

But the 54-year-old - who was named the Ladbrokes Premiership manager of the month for December after an impressive start to his Killie reign - says he is focusing on his current post.

Clarke said: “You get quoted because I’m up here and I’m in the public eye in Scotland.

“I was asked about it 12 weeks ago or so when I first came back up here.

“But I came here to work for Kilmarnock and I’m happy here now.

“Scotland will be a great job for somebody and I’m sure the SFA have already got a list of candidates and a list of people they want to speak to. Hopefully they choose the right man.”

Asked if the national team post would interest him one day, Clarke replied: “Mauricio Pochettino gave a fantastic quote recently when he was asked about the Real Madrid speculation.

“He said, ‘The football world takes you where the football world wants to take you’. So in the future you never know.”

But Killie keeper Jamie MacDonald believes his boss certainly has the tools to take on the Scotland post.

However, he is keeping his fingers crossed Jose Mourinho’s former Chelsea number two is not attracted by the lure of international football.

MacDonald - who this week signed a new deal tying him to Rugby Park until 2020 - said: “He definitely has the qualities to be a good Scotland manager. You just have to look at his track record, it’s unbelievable.

“He has had some big jobs as an assistant coach and even as a manager he was hard done by down in England. He did well with both West Brom and Reading but was sacked by both, which was very harsh.

“He would be a great choice for the national team but hopefully for us he will stay at Kilmarnock for the long term.”

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