Malky Mackay for Scotland job?

The former Cardiff City manager is their interim manager

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Should Malky Mackay be in the running for the Scotland job?

Malky Mackay may be currently at the helm of the Scotland national side, taking charge in their friendly against the Netherlands, but it is not on a permanent basis. In fact, the SFA boss Stewart Regan has ruled out the former Cardiff City manager taking on the role full-time altogether. However, that has not stopped speculation on whether he is suitable - or indeed, unsuitable - for the job.

When Mackay first joined the national side as a 'performance manager' last year, with the responsibility to oversee the development of young players, there was opposition to his appointment in that position. After leaving the Bluebirds in 2014, and on the brink of joining Crystal Palace as their new manager, a dossier was sent to the FA, which included text messages between him and Cardiff City's sporting director Iain Moody that were considered to be racist, sexist and homophobic. He later joined Wigan Athletic, but was sacked after 25 games at the DW Stadium in 2015.

Despite his involvement in the scandal, anti-racism group Kick It Out believes he should be given a second chance. The group's chairman Lord Ouseley defended Mackay, saying "he is not Harvey Weinstein", the Telegraph reports.

Lord Ouseley said: “He [Mackay] was caught up in stuff that was unacceptable and he paid a very big price for that, both in terms of his own reputation and, indeed, his job prospects.

“People learn from their mistakes and hopefully Malky has and will demonstrate on behalf of the people of Scotland and to the people of Scotland that he’s worthy of such a position. People need to move on. He is not Harvey Weinstein.”

The Scotsman argues that Mackay should distance himself from the Scotland job. The manager sounds "bolshier, more confident" and clearly welcoming the speculation around whether he will replace Gordon Strachan on a permanent basis. The 45-year-old really should have conveyed the impression of a humbler man when asked about the job, but opted for something more than Project Brave - it was Project Brass Neck, the Scotsman concludes.

The caretaker manager brings "controversy and a patchy coaching history", the Guardian's Ewan Murray argues, and he should not - and barring something strange - will not return to being performance manager for Scotland once a replacement is found.

Murray writes: "If Malky Mackay’s role in the scandal that engulfed him post-Cardiff City is commonly exaggerated, so too is his level of managerial talent.

"There had been decent, not stunning, success hardly far removed from a host of other coaches even before the Scot’s brief and disastrous spell in charge of Wigan Athletic."

He adds: "Mackay should be left alone to continue a hugely important background job, thereby potentially re-establishing a solid professional reputation."

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Craig Brown: Netherlands friendly is an audition for caretaker boss Malky Mackay | Press and Journal

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown believes victory in tomorrow's friendly against Netherlands could land caretaker boss Malky Mackay the job on a permanent basis.

Mackay, the Scottish FA performance director, refused to rule himself out of the running to replace Gordon Strachan when he named the squad for tomorrow's friendly at Pittodrie.

Brown believes the former Watford, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic manager could put himself in pole position if the national team impresses against Dick Advocaat's Dutch side.

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