Alex McLeish declares himself ready for second stint in charge of Scotland

Alex McLeish is keen to take over from Gordon Strachan.

Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish has become the first serious contender to enthusiastically throw his hat into the ring to be Gordon Strachan’s successor.

McLeish has declared himself ready to have a second go at being national coach after his relatively successful first stint in charge at Hampden ended when he took the Birmingham City job in November 2007.

The ex-Rangers, Hibs and Motherwell gaffer has admitted he “loved every minute” of being Scots manager and said he would welcome a second spell at the helm.

McLeish led Scotland to a famous victory over France in Paris before a late defeat by Italy saw them miss out on a place in Euro 2008.

The 58-year-old quit to move to Birmingham, who were then in the English Premier League, after 10 months but would not turn down a second chance.

“I could never rule the Scotland job out,” said the legendary Aberdeen defender.

“Obviously, I’m not in a job now so people might think it would be easier for me to take the job, and of course it would be.

“I don’t have any issues except just saying: ‘Yes, I’d love to do that.’

“But there are a lot of good candidates and they have put big Malky (Mackay) in charge for the next friendly while they deliberate.”

The SFA are finalising their recruitment process this week while Mackay plans for the visit of Holland to Pittodrie for a friendly on November 9.

McLeish’s name has been high on bookmakers’ lists given the feelgood factor of much of his time at the helm, which saw Scotland embark on a four-match winning run before defeats by Georgia and Italy denied them a finals appearance.

“We had a good spell,” reflected McLeish, who was promoting BT Sport’s coverage of this weekend’s Betfred Cup semi-finals.

“It was a short spell, and I loved every minute of it.

“At the time I felt I was a bit young to be going into international management but there was a wee trend then – (Marco) van Basten was in charge of Holland and (Jurgen) Klinsmann was on the scene with Germany.

“You think when you get the call you would say: ‘I don’t know, maybe.’

“But as soon as I got the call, I said yes and that’s what happens when your country comes calling.

“It is difficult to knock it back.”

Bookies’ favourite David Moyes has said he would listen to the SFA but would prefer a return to club management, while former England boss Sam Allardyce ruled himself out.

Former Aston Villa and Wolves manager Paul Lambert stated he had not thought about the role for himself after being disappointed to see Strachan leave.