THE SFA must, you would have thought, have a good idea by now of who they would like to succeed Craig Levein as Scotland manager.

You would hope they will have sat down with five or six potential candidates and identified the man they feel is best placed to lead the national team.

So why the delay in appointing him?

I think they need to have the new man in place in time for the friendly international with Estonia at Pittodrie at the start of next month.

It will give him an invaluable opportunity to work with his players and prepare for the World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Wales in March.

He would also be able to keep tabs on how the Scotland players are performing, in this country, down in England and abroad, ahead of the next double-header.

But it emerged this week that Billy Stark, the caretaker manager, could still be in the dugout for the Estonia match.

Part of the reason for that could be that it is saving the SFA – who, remember, are still paying Levein – money.

But does it also suggest that Billy has a real chance of getting the job on a permanent basis? You would have to think so.

I personally would have no qualms whatsoever if he got it.

Billy has done a fantastic job with the Scotland Under-21 squad. He is, by all accounts, well-respected and liked by his players.

He has worked with many of the Scotland players in the past and would know who is pushing for a call-up.

He has vast managerial experience and would not be daunted by either the magnitude of the task or the responsibility.