Who could replace Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager?

David Moyes, main, is one contender while Derek McInnes, Alex McLeish, Michael O'Neill, Sam Allardyce and Malky Mackay have all been linked. Pictures: Getty Images
David Moyes, main, is one contender while Derek McInnes, Alex McLeish, Michael O'Neill, Sam Allardyce and Malky Mackay have all been linked. Pictures: Getty Images
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Scotland are searching for a new manager after Gordon Strachan left his position on Thursday.

Strachan’s four-year reign in charge of the national team came to an end in the wake of their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Here, we look at seven possible candidates to replace him:


As a former Scotland skipper, Lambert would be unlikely to turn down the opportunity to manage his country if it was presented to him.

He was a hot ticket in England after successful spells in charge at Wycombe, Colchester and Norwich, but his move to cash-strapped Aston Villa in the summer of 2012 proved to be the most testing period of his managerial career and he was eventually sacked in February 2015 with his side third bottom of the table. Short spells with Blackburn and Wolves have failed to reignite his fortunes.

Former Scotland captain Paul Lambert could be in with a shout. Picture: Getty Images

Former Scotland captain Paul Lambert could be in with a shout. Picture: Getty Images

Likelihood: Has the experience but, going by the last few years, not the results. However, won 40 caps as a player, captained the side and has experience of getting to and playing in major tournaments.


The former Watford, Cardiff and Wigan manager is already on the SFA payroll, having been appointed to the Hampden performance director post last December, so could take up the reins quickly.

He landed his current post despite a hugely controversial exit from Cardiff, but his record with the Welsh outfit, who he led to promotion to the Premier League in 2013, is proof of his managerial capabilities.

Likelihood: With Mackay having already made a start with Project Brave, it’s hard to see him leaving his current post less than a year after being appointed but he may well have had an eye on the top job when he was appointed by the SFA in 2016.


The former Everton and Manchester United boss is still highly thought of in his homeland, despite a downturn in fortunes since his ill-fated Old Trafford stint.

He was sacked by Real Sociedad after just 12 months in Spain and only lasted a season at Sunderland before resigning after the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League.

His track record of making the most of resources at Goodison Park, however, may yet hold sway with Scottish Football Association chiefs.

Likelihood: Moyes impressed at Preston and Everton but could his tenures at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland hamper his chances?


The Aberdeen boss has been hailed for waking the sleeping Pittodrie giant since taking over four-and-a-half years ago. His 2014 League Cup triumph ended the Dons’ 19-year wait for a trophy and, despite working with a budget which is a fraction of that available to Celtic, his team have consistently been a thorn in the side of the Hoops in recent seasons. He may not have the big-game management experience of some of his rivals, but his track record speaks for itself.

Likelihood: May feel he has unfinished business with Aberdeen. Turned down a move to Sunderland during the summer so isn’t afraid to stay put if a move isn’t right.


The former Scotland boss is another popular candidate with the bookmakers to return to the Hampden hot seat. His first stint with the national team saw him take charge of just 10 games, but it produced seven wins, including the James McFadden-inspired triumph over France in Paris in 2007. The former Rangers boss went on to win the League Cup with Birmingham, but subsequent spells in charge at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Belgian outfit Genk have not been quite so fruitful.

Likelihood: He has already said he would consider the position if asked, and his previous tenure contained enough high points (victory over France) that he could be worth a second chance.


‘Big Sam’ was installed as England boss but lasted just 67 days before leaving his post by mutual agreement after allegations that he had used his role to negotiate a six-figure deal and offer advice on how to ‘get around’ transfer rules.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said Allardyce was “a great fit for England manager and we think could have been extremely successful.” England defeated Slovakia in his one game in charge.

Allardyce has never won a major trophy in his career and has an average win rate in the EPL of around 33 per cent but appeared to suggest he would be open to an international job again after leaving Crystal Palace this year.

Likelihood: Didn’t rule out taking the job when asked about it prior to Strachan’s exit. Could be a good fit given his relative ‘distance’ from the Scottish game.


Has performed wonders in charge of his native Northern Ireland, leading them to the last 16 at Euro 2016 and now to the play-offs for a place in Russia.

Despite having a limited talent pool to work with, his team comfortably beat both the Czech Republic and Norway to finish as runners-up to Germany in their qualifying group. He’s also led them to victory over Russia and

The former Dundee United and Hibernian winger still lives in Edinburgh, so his familiarity with the Scottish football landscape should make any potential switch a smooth one.

Likelihood: He’s been linked with the job before but regardless of his interest, O’Neill could fancy a crack at the World Cup if Northern Ireland can successfully navigate the play-offs next month.