Jobless John Collins throws his hat into the Hampden Park ring as SFA step up George Burley Scotland successor search

Jobless John Collins has declared his interest in becoming the new Scotland manager, as the SFA step up their search to find George Burley’s successor.

And Sportsmail understands former Leeds United boss Gary McAllister and current Tottenham coach Joe Jordan would also be receptive to any interview approach from the Hampden hierarchy.

Owen Coyle, who has confounded many critics by overseeing Burnley’s smooth transition to life in the English Premier League, was quick to rule himself out, while Davie Moyes, the Everton manager, is way beyond the anticipated annual salary of around £400,000.

John Collins

Silver lining: John Collins, who guided Hibs to their first trophy in 16 yeas two years ago, has thrown his hat into the Hampden ring for the vacant Scotland job

Speculation has already centred on Dundee United boss Craig Levein and former national team coach Walter Smith, whose contract with Rangers expires in January, to succeed Burley after he was axed on Monday.

United will fight to keep their man, if asked, but it is believed the contract signed by Levein last season left the door open for an attractive offer — and that may include the Scotland post.

The SFA are in no immediate rush but want their new man appointed in time for the Euro 2012 qualifying group draw in Warsaw on February 7.

Collins, who led Hibs to their first silverware for 16 years when they lifted the CIS Cup in March 2007, has been out of work since a brief spell with Charleroi in Belgium and missed out on the West Ham job when Gianfranco Zola was appointed.

‘I would be interested in managing the national team,’ said Collins, who won 58 caps and scored against Brazil at the 1998 World Cup finals.

‘But it is not for me to put my name forward — it is for the SFA to draw up their list. But let’s make no mistake about it, this job is a very tough one.’

Joe Jordan
Gary McAllister

Good to talk: Spurs No 2 Joe Jordan and ex-Leeds United boss Gary McAllister are both understood to be receptive to any interview approach from SFA chiefs

Graeme Souness ruled himself out of the running on Sunday night and Collins added: ‘As Graeme said the other day, no one is going to come in with a magic wand and turn us into a fantastic football team.

‘There is a lot of work to be done and it will be one stage at a time.

‘The role of any manager in the world is to take a group of players and make them better, make them perform at their peak.’

McAllister had support inside the SFA three years ago when Alex McLeish was appointed after Smith quit Hampden to return to Rangers.

The former national team captain was interviewed and short-listed on that occasion only to lose out to McLeish. He was then asked to work as No 3 to Burley and Terry Butcher two months ago but declined.

McAllister remained extremely coy on his prospects when contacted and 57-year-old Jordan adopted a similar stance.

Jordan has a top job in the Barclays Premier League as Harry Redknapp’s first-team coach at Spurs.

Like Collins and McAllister, Jimmy Calderwood is out of work and would welcome being considered by chief executive Gordon Smith and president George Peat.

‘We are all Scottish supporters and the job would be the proudest one I could ever take,’ said

Walter Smith
Craig Levein

Head-to-head: Former Scotland manager Walter Smith and Hearts supremo Craig Levein are thought to be the front-runners in the race to succeed George Burley

54-year-old Calderwood, who has 13 years of managerial experience and worked in Holland, as well as with Dunfermline and Aberdeen.

Coyle led Burnley into the Premier League for the first time this season. ‘There is nothing to be said about Scotland — I am the Burnley manager and that is it,’ said the man capped by the Republic of Ireland and who turned down Celtic as recently as this summer.


Meanwhile, veteran Dutchman Leo Beenhakker is the first foreigner linked with the Hampden vacancy.

The 67-year-old has held 23 managerial posts in a 37-year coaching career, including Holland, Real Madrid, Ajax and Poland.

‘I have read that Scotland sacked their manager,’ said Beenhakker.

‘I am a practical guy who does things properly. I don’t deal in speculation or rumour but, if the Scottish federation make official contact with me, then I will listen and privately give them my answers.’

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