McLeish warns against 'early killing'

PA Sport
Henry McLeish believes the SFA need a long term strategy

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Henry McLeish believes the SFA need a long term strategy

The Scottish Football Association have been warned that sacking Craig Levein would not solve all their problems.

Former Scotland first minister Henry McLeish believes a long-term view must be taken and that dispensing with Levein, whose Scotland side are bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with two points from a possible 12 after Tuesday night's loss to Belgium, is not the answer.

"Let's be careful and not just look for an early killing on this one to satisfy the lust after we've done so badly," said McLeish, who published a wide-ranging review suggesting reforms for Scottish football in 2010.

"The state of the game is not the problem of one person. We can talk about changing managers, but quite frankly there's bigger problems in the game.

"I like Craig Levein. He makes an enormous contribution to developing young people, he's strong-minded. He has a big future in the game whatever happens.

"We should think of the long-term, be optimistic for the long-term and let's not make too many sacrifices - it will not improve the situation.

"All I'm saying is to caution the idea that there is someone out there who can be brought in to turn a miracle. That's not going to happen."

The SFA have come under pressure from supporters to sack Levein, who was appointed in December 2009.

The former Dundee United manager has been criticised for negative tactics and in four World Cup qualifying matches - against Serbia, Macedonia, Wales and Belgium - has achieved two draws.

Scotland are at the foot of Group A, eight points behind joint-leaders Belgium and Croatia.

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