Scots boss missing club routine

19 March 2010 12:45
But the former Dundee United boss is comfortable with his decision to take the once-in-a-lifetime chance to lead his country.

Levein spent the first few months of his tenure visiting training grounds across Britain to speak to players and their managers, and enjoyed a winning start to his reign earlier this month with a friendly victory over the Czech Republic.

But his second match, a friendly in Sweden, does not take place until August 11 - almost eight months after he accepted the role.

"I'm finding the lack of routine has been the most difficult thing," Levein, 45, told BBC Radio Scotland's Call Kaye programme.

"I've never done anything like this. You lose that daily contact with the players, you lose the routine, which is important for anybody.

"Routine in itself allows you to get things in place and to get everybody feeling comfortable in what you're doing.

"It also gives you a time to relax because you know when the game is on and you work back from the game situation and what you do on each day.

"The reason I took the job is because it's the Scottish national team manager's job and I couldn't get away from that.

"There is a huge draw to that. It's hard to get away from the fact that if I had turned down this opportunity, would I ever get the opportunity again?"

Levein's winning start has prompted a cautious increase in optimism surrounding the national team after a difficult period under George Burley.

Unrest off the field culminated in the infamous 'Boozegate' incident, which saw Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor banned from international duty.

But Levein has given the pair the chance to return along with Lee McCulloch and Kris Boyd, who both had a self-imposed exile under Burley, and is confident they can move on.

Levein, who has instigated an alcohol ban on his players, said: "If you allow people's focus and concentration to drift away from the actual football, then it becomes a problem.

"I think the Scotland team in the last year, without going into any particular situations, there have been issues that overshadowed the football. That has had a major effect on their ability to win matches.

"My approach since I got the job is to start with a clean slate. Any of the baggage has been jettisoned - we start again. I don't deal with those situations."

EC Group I Win Outright: Scotland 10/1  

Source: Team_Talk