Scottish Football Association chief executive Ian Maxwell is ‘absolutely confident’ Steve Clarke is the right man to take the nation forward – after talk of the head coach going to Celtic left him ‘nervous.’
Clarke was linked with becoming new manager at Celtic but the Parkhead club appointed Ange Postecoglou as boss. The SFA have now moved to get Clarke onto a new deal until 2024, but with one win in nine, mixed reviews at Euro 2020 and qualification for the World Cup next year looking tough, doubts have been raised over the deal.
Maxwell believes Celtic interest only heightened the need to get Clarke on a new contract, insisting he’s doing a great job: “He was on bookies’ shortlists and had been mentioned in the general discussion about potential next managers. You are always going to be nervous. It is a sign that your manager has done well.
“It reinforces our decision to appoint him. He is the first Scotland manager for 23 years to get us to a major finals. I have no doubt that if he continues to do well with Scotland, then people will be interested and we have to safeguard ourselves against that as well.
“It’s amazing how this works because when we appointed Steve he was the first Scotland manager I can remember where you didn’t really have anybody saying, ‘Why have they done that?’. He was universally accepted as the right guy at the right time. He came in and was told get us to the Euros. He then gets us to the Euros.
“We think he’s doing a really good job. He’s a got a really good team spirit going and players who really want to be part of the national team. We look at that and on balance we say, ‘Well let’s extend his contract’. I am absolutely confident he is the right guy to take us forward.”
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