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Former Birmingham and Villa manager set to return for second spell as Scotland boss

Alex McLeish won seven of 10 games in charge during his previous spell in 2007.

Alex McLeish (file pic).
Alex McLeish (file pic).
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

ALEX MCLEISH WILL return for a second spell as Scotland manager according to widespread reports on Thursday, ending the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) four-month search for a successor to Gordon Strachan.

The SFA have called a press conference for 11.30am on Friday when they will formally announce McLeish’s return on a two-year deal.

McLeish, 59, won seven of 10 games in charge during his previous spell in 2007, including a famous 1-0 win away to France, as Scotland narrowly missed out to Italy for qualification for Euro 2008.

Scotland’s wait to reach a major tournament has stretched to 20 years in the decade since.

The long wait to find a replacement for Strachan saw SFA chief executive Stewart Regan step down earlier this month after a failed attempt to lure Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

McLeish’s first games in charge will come in friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary next month.

However, he will have to wait until September when qualifying for Euro 2020 begins with the inaugural Nations League at home to Albania.

McLeish had a distinguished career as a defender for Aberdeen, winning three Scottish league titles and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983.

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His most successful period as a manger came in nearly five years at Rangers where he won seven trophies between 2001 and 2006 before taking charge of Scotland for the first time.

He also led Birmingham City to win the League Cup in 2010/2011 before controversially quitting to join rivals Aston Villa following Birmingham’s relegation.

Short unsuccessful spells at Villa, Nottingham Forest, Genk in Belgium and Egyptian side Zamalek have followed before a return to his homeland.

© – AFP, 2018

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