Ramsey, Robson... now Burley

FORMER Ipswich Town manager George Burley is expected to become the new Scotland boss within 48 hours.The Scottish Football Association board today ratified the interview panel's choice of preferred candidate and is set to discuss compensation with Burley's present club Southampton.

FORMER Ipswich Town manager George Burley is expected to become the new Scotland boss within 48 hours.

The Scottish Football Association board today ratified the interview panel's choice of preferred candidate and is set to discuss compensation with Burley's present club Southampton.

Scottish Football Association president George Peat - who was on the interview panel - stopped short of naming the 51-year-old as he arrived for the board meeting at Hampden Park, but told Sky Sports News: “We think we've got the right man.”

He added: “We've gone down the same route as we did with the appointments of Walter Smith and Alex McLeish. It's been difficult from the point of view there's been little to choose between the candidates we were discussing. But we think we've got the right man.”

Burley, who will replace new Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish, will be handed the job of guiding the Scots to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

He will follow in the footsteps of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson as international managers who had their roots in Portman Road.

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Burley's spell in charge of Ipswich Town, who he also served as a defender, is believed to be one of the main factors behind him getting the Scotland offer.

He won promotion for the Blues in the 2000 Wembley play-off finals and the Suffolk club went on to finish fifth in the Premiership the following season, securing a UEFA Cup place.

The club were relegated the following season and Burley left Portman Road in 2003.

He went on to manage Derby County and Hearts before taking charge at St Mary's.

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee, who was one of the four shortlisted candidates for the post, conceded defeat last night in his bid to land the job.

McGhee told BBC Radio Scotland: “All I can say is congratulations to George. I think he will be a terrific Scotland manager and I will do all I can to help him.

“I remain very proud to have been considered and if George does not win the World Cup then it opens it up for me to be one who does!”

Also on the shortlist were former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness and Celtic coach Tommy Burns.

Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon insists his former Hearts boss can be an outstanding national team manager.

The Sunderland shot-stopper, who played under Burley at Hearts in the early part of the 2005-06 season, told BBC Radio Scotland: “In the short time that he was there (at Hearts) he made a huge impact.

“I think it's important for Scotland to continue what we have been doing and to continue the progress which has been made.

“He has managed in a lot of different leagues, he's managed in the top league in England and in Scotland, so he does have the experience of different styles of player, and he also had Ipswich in Europe for a season. I'm sure he'll use that if it does indeed come about.”

Burley won 11 caps as a player for Scotland.

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