Billy Stark to take reigns for Scotland friendly

Alan Hutton versus IcelandScotland U21s manager Billy Stark has been asked by the Scottish FA to act as caretaker manager for the Scotland seniors’ friendly against Luxembourg next week.

Craig Levein was relieved from his post as Scotland manager on Monday following an abysmal start to their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign.

The SFA have decided they will take their time in appointing the next national coach, with a number of big former Premier League names being linked to the vacancy including Kenny Dalglish, Owen Coyle, Graeme Souness, Gordon Strachan and ex-Scotland boss Walter Smith.

In the meantime, Billy Stark will be in charge. The Scot told Sky Sports News earlier today: “I’ve been asked to lead the team through the Luxembourg fixture and I will do so to the best of my abilities.

“Unfortunately [Craig Levein] didn’t get the results he wanted, but he’s pragmatic enough to understand the decision.

“A group of players will feel they’ve let the manager down as well, so my job is to try and galvanise them for the game next week.”

Stark was asked by reporters several times whether he was interested in taking the job on permanently but the former St. Mirren, Aberdeen and Celtic midfielder was evasive in his answers.

“I don’t know how the process works in terms of applications.

“As far as I’m concerned I’m going to lead the team next week and well take it from there. I can say categorically I’m not thinking anywhere beyond that.

“My remit is to take the team through the Luxembourg fixture and that’s all I’m concentrating on.”

Stark has already made some changes to the Scotland Squad, leaving out Steven Caldwell, Danny Fox, Scott Brown and first choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor to bring in Phil Bardsley, Steven Whittaker and Kris Commons.

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