Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan remained in defiant mood yesterday, despite missing out on his number one target for the Scotland manager’s job.
Michael O’Neill’s decision to turn down Scotland this week and remain with Northern Ireland meant the Scots were without a manager at yesterday’s Uefa Nations League draw in Switzerland.
The Scots were drawn in Group 1 of League C, with Albania and Israel, in the new tournament designed to replace international friendlies. The home and away matches will take place in a 10-week period between September and November.
Regan says he is confident it won’t be too long before the managerial vacancy is filled and said that new candidates have emerged following O’Neill’s rejection.
Regan said: “We had our own shortlist prior to approaching Michael O’Neill and we’ll be reviewing all the names and deciding on who we are going to see and what the next steps will be. We’ll be looking to move to the next phase and find a replacement for Gordon Strachan.
“We’re keen to try to have someone in place as quickly as possible but, with no competitive matches until September, we have a little bit of time.
“It’s important that we focus on finding the right person.”
Regan, meanwhile, pleaded for patience from the Tartan Army as the search for a successor to Strachan goes on.
He added: “I’m not the first chief executive, and I certainly won’t be the last, not to get the target that I go after. I under-stand the fans’ frustrations about not having someone in place but we don’t have a competitive match until September. We’re determined to find the right person. There are some very attractive and exciting candidates out there and others have come towards us since Michael’s decision.”
England have been drawn to play Spain and Croatia in Group 4 of League A in the Uefa Nations League. Wales, under new manager Ryan Giggs, will face Republic of Ireland and Denmark in League B Group 4.
Northern Ireland are in Group 3 of League B and will play Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
SCOTLAND FIXTURES (all kick-offs 7.45pm)
Monday, September 10: Scotland v Albania
Thursday, October 11: Israel v Scotland
Saturday, November 17: Albania v Scotland
Tuesday, November 20: Scotland v Israel