Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is disappointed the SFA did not give Pittodrie legend Alex McLeish the opportunity to see out Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
The SFA axed McLeish just 14 months into his second stint as national boss following a poor start to the qualifying campaign.
Under McLeish’s guidance the Scots secured a play-off spot by topping their UEFA Nations League ahead of Israel and Albania.
However, he paid the price for a disastrous Euro qualifying opener as the Scots crashed 3-0 away to Kazakhstan.
It didn’t get much better as they stuttered to a 2-0 defeat of San Marino, rated the worst national team in world football.
The hunt for a replacement kicked off immediately with McInnes one of the names listed by bookmakers for the post.
McInnes has consistently underlined his commitment to the Dons and would not be drawn on any speculation on who would replace McLeish so soon after the 60-year-old was axed.
McInnes said: “This campaign is not over with and that is what I am disappointed in, that Alex has not seen it through.
“There has been a lot rumour and innuendo about Alex’s position before now.
“I am disappointed when any manager loses his job, especially when he has only been in the job for a short space of time.
“On a personal basis I have got to know Alex well in the last wee while and I am disappointed for him as a person.
“I recognised what a true patriot he is both as a player and a manager. Alex has been fully committed in any role he has had to get results for Scotland.
“That is clear.
“There is always that tinge of sadness when that is the case. My sympathies go with Alex.”
McLeish was confirmed as Scotland manager for a second time in February last year.
His sacking was confirmed yesterday with an SFA statement saying the decision was “agreed collectively in consultation with Alex” at a Scottish FA board meeting at Hampden.
Under McLeish, Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna and Graeme Shinnie were both handed debut caps and have gone on to win multiple caps.
Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke, who will face the Dons tomorrow, is one of the names in the frame for the Scotland job.
McInnes insists it still remains an attractive proposition for any manager at the right stage of their career.
He said: “ It depends on where you are in your career but I would think managing your country would have to be up there with the majority of managers as some sort of ambition at some point. Whoever goes in will be aware of the scrutiny and pressures of the job but also the rewards.
“The reward of qualifying for a tournament would be fantastic for a manager out there.”



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