London (AFP) – Alex McLeish is hoping lessons learned from his former manager and mentor Sir Alex Ferguson can inspire Scotland to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in 22 years.
McLeish begins his second spell in charge of the national team on Friday when Costa Rica visit Hampden in a World Cup warm-up friendly for the Central Americans.
Scotland will again miss out on the showpiece in Russia, but McLeish wants to build the foundations of a team capable of qualifying for Euro 2022, using the principles Ferguson taught him during their time together at Aberdeen.
“I worked with a man for eight years and it was about being dynamic, having a high tempo, passing the ball,” said McLeish on what he learned from Ferguson. “And I’ve tried to have that style in all of my teams.
“Sometimes you don’t get it, sometimes you don’t have the players at your disposal. But by and large that’s the way I would like to see my teams playing.”
McLeish fell just short in his previous attempt to take Scotland to a tournament as, despite winning seven of his 10 games in charge, a heartbreaking 2-1 home defeat to Italy in their final qualifier saw the Scots miss out on Euro 2012.
The former Rangers manager has called-up nine uncapped players for the start of a new era, but wants to get wins on the board against Costa Rica and Hungary on Tuesday to build momentum despite having to wait until September for his first competitive fixtures in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
“Winning breeds confidence. We are looking for a consistent way to win. I’d like to see these guys take the bull by the horns and take their opportunity over these two games.”