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Cameron backs Smith to return as Scotland manager

The former midfielder wants the ex-Rangers boss back in the Hampden hot-seat.


The former midfielder wants the ex-Rangers boss back in the Hampden hot-seat.

Walter Smith may have spent seven years in retirement but former Scotland midfielder Colin Cameron reckons the time is ripe for him to return to the national team hot-seat.

The former Rangers boss has emerged as the leading candidate to take over from Gordon Strachan after the Scottish Football Association’s failure to land Michael O’Neill.

Smith – who previously managed the Scots between 2004 and 2007 – appeared to have called time on his dugout career when he stepped down as Gers manager in 2011 having sealed his 21st trophy as Ibrox boss.

Since then, the 69-year-old’s only direct involvement with the game came during a short stint as Rangers chairman.

But Press Association Sport understands he is now ready to return to work after holding preliminary talks with SFA chiefs.

That news, though, has split opinion amongst the Tartan Army, with some supporters calling for a younger boss with a fresh approach.

Cameron, though, is convinced Smith will have lost none of his nous since abdicating the Gers throne.

The former Hearts and Wolves midfielder – who now works as Lowland League outfit EduSport Academy’s Under-20s coach – told Press Association Sport: “Walter has the right credentials to come in and do the job required. He’d be a great appointment.

“He’s been out of the game for a few years but that doesn’t concern me at all. He may not have been involved in the nitty gritty but he’ll still have been paying attention to what’s going on in the Scottish game and will know the players around.

“He certainly hasn’t lost any of his years of experience.

“So the fact he hasn’t been in the dugout for a while wouldn’t bother me, especially because with the international job standing on the sideline at matches is only a small part of it. It’s more about being out on the road looking at who is playing well.”

Cameron won 28 caps under Craig Brown and Berti Vogts – but it was his experience of working under the former Germany boss that has convinced him the SFA should opt for the safe bet in Smith rather than gamble on another foreign appointment.

“There are some really good managers out there and a lot of countries do appoint foreign coaches to lead their national team,” said Cameron, speaking as EduSport Academy chief Chris Ewing launched a fan ownership drive.

“But me personally, I think the fans are so important to our side and if you’ve got a manager from Scotland you get more from the fans and more from the players too.

“It was difficult working under Berti. Did he get a harder time because he wasn’t Scottish? Yeah, that and the fact it can be a different mentality.

“His methods were totally different from Craig’s and the language barrier, while it wasn’t a big issue, there were wee things that I felt with him not being Scottish didn’t help.

“There are plenty of managers out there but how many are the right one for the Scotland job? I’d imagine only two or three.

“Certainly from the names I’ve heard Walter is the one to go for.”

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