Former England manager refuses to rule out interest in Scotland job



Former England manager Sam Allardyce has refused to rule out an interest in taking over from Gordon Strachan.

Strachan’s four-and-a-half reign as Scotland boss is in doubt after Sundays’ 2-2 draw ended the country’s hopes of reaching next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.

Allardyce admitted in July that he would be keen on the prospect of a return to international management after leading Crystal Palace to Premier League safety during his five-month stint at Selhurst Park.

(Pic: Egghead06)

The 62-year-old was controversially sacked just one game and 67 days into his reign as England manager last September after being secretly filmed during a newspaper investigation apparently offering advice on how to get around the FA’s rules on player transfers.

Speaking on talkSPORT, the vastly experienced former West Ham, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton boss declined to comment on whether he would be keen to succeed Strachan in becoming only the second non-Scot to manage the national team.

He said: “Don’t go there. I know Gordon Strachan really well and I’ve not associated myself with the Scotland job at all.

“I’m not answering that on air.

“Somebody is already in that position so I’m not speculating one way or the other about me and Gordon Strachan, so move off that subject.”

Scotland’s decision to appoint German Berti Vogts to the dugout in 2002 backfired after the national team dropped to a record low off 77th in the Fifa world rankings at the end of his two-and-a-half year tenure.

Asked about whether country’s should choose a homegrown coach, Englishman Allardyce added: “I always think that if you’ve got a manager who is qualified and is one of your own then that for me has always been the way forward. They know what’s going on, they’re more passionate than maybe an outsider.

“At the end of the day it’s the quality of the coach you’re picking like it’s the quality of the player you’ve got.

“(Berti Vogts) was a big let down. A foreign coach has to cope with the passion and culture of the country that he’s taking over, then try and deliver their expectations.”

Strachan has come in for criticism after claiming ‘genetics’ and the lack of height were a factor in Scotland’s failed bid to secure a play-off spot.

But Allardyce insists he knows exactly where the 60-year-old is coming from.

He said: “On the basis of genetics. What Gordon is saying is that he’s short of two or three players, around the 6ft 2in, 6ft 3in, 6ft 5in in the side – that’s clearly what he’s talking about.

“He’s not talking about the overall size, he’s talking about defending set-pieces and corners, which is  where you need aerial prowess.

“I know in Premier League football that the goals scored from headers, corners and wide free-kicks is increasing year by year and that’s where he is aiming at.

“Trying to defend a set-play, you need some aerial dominance and he feels he doesn’t have that in his squad at the moment.

“I think some people are taking that out of context that he’s talking about the whole team.”