November 14, 2018, 6:23

Alex McLeish ‘a safe pair of hands’ for Scotland says Kris Boyd

Alex McLeish ‘a safe pair of hands’ for Scotland says Kris Boyd

Kris Boyd says new Scotland head coach Alex McLeish is a 'safe pair of hands' for the role.

Kris Boyd has described new Scotland head coach Alex McLeish as a “safe pair of hands” after he was officially appointed to the post on Friday.

Kilmarnock striker Boyd played under McLeish at Rangers and scored the first goal of his first, short-lived reign as national boss in 2007.

Former Birmingham, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest manager McLeish takes over from former Aberdeen and Scotland team-mate Gordon Strachan, who left the post after failing to guide his country to the finals of this year’s World Cup in Russia.

“It’s a safe pair hands. Alex McLeish knows exactly how the SFA runs,” Boyd told Sky Sports News.

“He has got a good bunch of boys there and hopefully he is the man to get Scotland to a major tournament.

“It’s not going to be easy because from the 24 times the European Championships has been held, we have only managed to qualify for two.”

McLeish was not the Scottish Football Association’s first choice for the job, with Michael O’Neill turning the job down in order to remain Northern Ireland boss.

New Scotland manager Alex McLeish is determined to make up for the heartbreak of narrowly missing out on qualifying for Euro 2008 by leading his country to Euro 2020.

Another former Rangers manager – Walter Smith – was also heavily linked with the role, but Boyd believes McLeish will be unfazed by the way in which his appointment came around.

“When you look at when clubs appoint new managers, they rarely get their first choice, so I don’t think that will phase Alex,” added Boyd.

“He has been out of work for a couple of years and would have been desperate to get back in, and it gets him a showcase to show what he is all about and hopefully take Scotland to a major championship.

“Inside the building [Hampden Park] there are problems. Stewart Regan [SFA CEO] lost his job, Alex himself said he was not everyone’s first choice and there was the whole drawn-out saga with Michael O’Neill.

“They have managed to put it to bed and they have a manager in there, but another problem could come when the chief executive is appointed.

“I would have got a chief exec first, because if one comes in who doesn’t get on with Alex, there is a clash of personalities that could lead to other problems.

“But the main thing is at least we have a manager in place for the Costa Rica game next month [March 23].”


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