Hearts boss Craig Levein hopes ex-Rangers manager lands Scotland post – and insists age is no barrier


Former Scotland manager Craig Levein insists age is no barrier after admitting that he hopes Walter Smith is offered the chance to become the country’s next national team boss.

The Scottish FA have made contact with the former Rangers manager with a view to Smith returning to the Hampden hot-seat as they continue their search for a successor to Gordon Strachan.

Smith, who has been out of the dugout since stepping down from the post at Ibrox in 2011, turns 70 later this month but Levein insists he would love to see the him being handed the reins.

Levein said: “I have a huge amount of respect for Walter as a manager and as a person.

“I think he would do a fantastic job and I actually hope that he does get offered the job.

“I don’t even know how old he is. But I’m sure there will have been international managers of that age or older.

“International football is slightly different. It is not a taxing job, not physically, not like club football.

“The pressures some along every so often, in short bursts.

“I have a bugbear about referees having to retire at 45, 50 whatever it is.

“I think that they come into their prime and get calmer as they get older.

“They have seen it all before and they recognise situations and make less mistakes. Give me a 48 year-old referee who is mentally in his prime against a 29 year-old guy who can run about a lot.

“Experience, I think, is much undervalued.”

Levein had been out of the dugout for five years before he returned as Hearts manager and would have no concerns about Smith’s lengthy absence from frontline coaching.

He added: “It took me a few weeks to get my eye back in.

“It is different watching from up in the stand than it is to watching from pitch level.

“But the rest of it feels like I was just doing it last week. He has so much knowledge.”