Walter Smith will be appointed Scotland’s manager this week after the Scottish Football Association formally offered him the opportunity to succeed Berti Vogts as national coach.
The former Rangers and Everton manager should be unveiled after Thursday’s SFA board meeting at Hampden Park, where the body’s chief executive David Taylor and the president John McBeth, together with three other office bearers, will present their recommendations to the remaining six directors after recent interviews.
Smith has long boasted the support of the majority on the 11-man board. At his interview on November 19, the 56-year-old is understood to have insisted that the structure of the manager’s role be revamped. The SFA ac ceded to that demand and Smith’s agreement is now anticipated.
There was no comment from the SFA last night, though Taylor – who has come under severe pressure in recent weeks after Vogts’s unsuccessful reign and the morale-sapping 4-1 friendly defeat to Sweden earlier this month – confirmed at the weekend that an appointment was imminent.
“We have reached a situation where we now have to have detailed discussions with regard to terms and conditions,” said Taylor, who did not confirm that Smith was the candidate in question.
“I would hope that through this process the recommendation would go forward unanimously.
“You get down to talking about terms and conditions of the job, the salary and all that sort of stuff and availability. Once that has been done, we will make a recommendation. I certainly want to reach the end of the process as quickly as possible because I have plenty of other business to attend to.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Graeme Souness has stated that Smith may be on a “hiding to nothing” when he becomes Scotland boss.
Souness, capped 54 times by Scotland, said: “I wouldn’t be brave enough to take on the Scotland job.
“There’s an element of Walter being on a hiding to nothing but his love for football and his pride as a Scotsman have made him look beyond that.
“He is risking a tremendous amount and he deserves great credit for that.”
Smith was Souness’ assistant manager at Rangers in the late 1980s and the pair remain close friends.
“I’ve spoken to him about it. I knew he was interested, I knew he had a chance of getting it and I knew he was excited about it,” added the Magpies boss.
“But it’s a brave, brave move. I didn’t explain that to him. He’s a big boy and he doesn’t need me to tell him.
“I’m sure he doesn’t need this job but he’s put his neck on the line and fair play to him for that.”
Vogts quit as Scotland manager at the start of November after the team managed only two points from their opening three World Cup qualifiers.
Former Scotland international Joe Jordan has also warned that Smith cannot be expected to perform miracles.
“Walter will have the same problems that Berti had,” Jordan said.
“He won’t have the strength in depth that the Scotland team have had in the past.
“But I think he’s going to have try and sort out the reputation of Scottish football for producing players – I think that’s something that’s still a bit of a mystery.”