Strachan joins Eck in backing McGhee

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan has described Mark McGhee as the “perfect” choice to replace Alex McLeish as Scotland boss.

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan has described Mark McGhee as the “perfect” choice to replace Alex McLeish as Scotland boss.

McLeish himself earlier tipped the Motherwell manager to succeed him in the hotseat and Strachan backed that view.

McGhee, 50, has worked wonders since taking over at Motherwell in the summer, turning a struggling team into one of the most entertaining teams in the league.

Their 2-1 win at Hearts on Saturday took the Steelmen to third in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and reinforced the former Leicester, Brighton and Millwall manager’s position as one of the favourites for the national role.

Strachan, who had McGhee as a lodger when the Fir Park boss first returned north, joked that there was “bit of cronyism” about the support from McLeish and himself for their former Aberdeen team-mate.

But he added: “Mark could do the job, absolutely no problem whatsoever.

“There are other good candidates but I think it’s perfect timing if they want to do it.

“I know the Motherwell fans will be screaming but I just think he’s a perfect contender.

“You have different people with different attributes but I think he has shown in a short time here what he can do.

“Plus just look at his record at other clubs. Even when he went to Wolves, I think everyone else before him and after him got loads of money but somehow he didn’t get too much money.

“He did a fantastic job and nearly took them up, he nearly took Reading to the Premiership, so he is first class.”

McLeish earlier advised the Scottish Football Association to turn to McGhee following his departure to Birmingham.

The former Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers boss said: “Mark is a very intelligent coach who has had a lot of experience playing in Scotland, England and abroad.

“He also has international experience so he has a lot of the ingredients.

“I would say the SFA should go for Mark. I’m sure he would enjoy the Scotland job. He would lap it up.”

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