Paul Lambert: Ex-Scotland captain 'would talk to Scottish FA' over vacant manager's job


Lambert is working in the German media after leaving Wolves in May

Former Scotland captain Paul Lambert says he would be happy to speak to the Scottish Football Association about the vacant national team job.

The ex-Celtic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been out of management since leaving Wolves in May.

“I played for the national team, it is my country, so you do maybe think ‘let’s have a look’. I wouldn’t ignore people,” he told BBC Sportsound.

“If they ask me to speak to them, I would speak to them, of course.”

The SFA’s performance director Malky Mackay took charge of Thursday’s friendly defeat against the Netherlands after Gordon Strachan’s departure following Scotland’s failure to reach the World Cup play-offs.

But chief executive Stewart Regan has already confirmed that Mackay will not be considered for the manager’s job on a full-time basis.

Regan has suggested it will be the new year before the SFA draws up a short-list of candidates, with Scotland’s next competitive game not until next autumn.

However, Lambert, who has managed Livingston, Wycombe, Colchester United, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Blackburn and Wolves, believes the governing body should not delay in making an appointment.

“I don’t think they want to wait too long,” he said. “Whoever the new manager is, I don’t think you can ignore the underbelly – the Under-19s, the Under-21s. That is important. Even though the first team is a relatively young squad, it needs to be looked at from bottom to top.

Lambert was part of the last Scotland team to reach a major tournament – the 1998 World Cup

“Our national team has not qualified [for a major tournament] for a long time. The only way they can go is up, that is the beauty of it.

“Whoever gets it has got a big job on his hands. You are not just there to nurture players. The national team has to qualify for a major tournament. It has been 20 years.

“We can’t be thinking we will wait three or four years for these players to develop. Whoever gets that job has to do their utmost to qualify. That is the ultimate bottom line.”

‘If I was picking the manager, I would go Scottish’

Lambert, 48, was a Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund and won eight major trophies in seven seasons at Celtic, including four Scottish titles.

He is among the favourites for the Scotland post, with Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill and former Scotland and Rangers boss Alex McLeish also tipped to be considered.

McLeish has already said it would be “hard” to say no if the SFA asked him to manage the national side for a second time.

Lambert, who is currently doing some work for the German media, believes it should be a Scot who succeeds Strachan.

“If I was on the board picking the national manager, I would go Scottish,” he added. “I would say ‘What has gone wrong in the last 20 years and what can we do to try to do it better?’

“It is great to develop players, but it is about qualifying.”

Former Scotland striker Billy Dodds echoed Lambert’s wish for a home-grown national coach.

“I want a home man,” he told Sportsound. “I would take a British-style coach, who knows the way Scotland teams play, our DNA, who knows the British style of game.

“It is gambling if you take a foreign coach. You have to be careful. You have got to know our temperament and mentality.”

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