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Brown: Landing O'Neill would be major coup for SFA

The Northern Irishman is an 'outstanding candidate' to succeed Gordon Strachan.

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown says Michael O'Neill would be an "outstanding" candidate to become national team manager and would be a coup for the SFA.

The national association is looking to name a permanent successor to Gordon Strachan following his exit at the end of the failed World Cup qualification campaign.

O'Neill, who led Northern Ireland to last summer's Euro finals, is highly regarded within the SFA boardroom and is sure to come under consideration for the vacant Scotland managerial position.

Following Northern Ireland's exit at the play-off stage with defeat to Switzerland, his future has come into sharp focus and Brown can understand why he is considered to be a viable candidate.

"Well, I don't want to offend the Irish but there have been many candidates and Michael O'Neill is outstanding, as everyone knows," Brown told STV.

"I texted him right after the game and expressed my sympathy for him not getting beyond the play-off stage.

"Now he should have because the penalty kick decision [in the first leg] was shocking.

"Obviously he's one of the major candidates, I would have thought and I think it would be a major coup if the SFA managed to extract him from Northern Ireland."

'The job is to identify who you want and headhunt, go and get him. That's what the SFA should do, in my opinion.'
Craig Brown

Brown, the last manager to take a Scotland team to a major finals in 1998, urged the SFA to be proactive and go and land their preferred candidate rather than sift through applications.

He said that approach had been used with previous appointments.

"You don't get a job by applying for a job in football, that's my experience," he said.

"I don't know why I've heard some clubs saying they are waiting on further applications. The job is to identify who you want and headhunt, go and get him. That's what the SFA should do, in my opinion.

"They did that with Berti Vogts. They did it in the past, I think [every manager] the SFA in the last few decades has identified and then asked to take the job. He's not sent an application in for the job."

He added: "I don't think George Burley did or Walter Smith, I'm sure he wouldn't. Neither would Alex McLeish.

"I don't think these guys would have applied for the job so you headhunt and if the powers that be identify Michael O'Neill no one could dispute that and they should go and get him if they feel that way but he's on contract at the moment with Northern Ireland and you've got to respect that."

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