Jackie McNamara reckons his former Scotland manager Walter Smith will be tempted to return to the role.

Former Rangers and Everton boss Smith has been earmarked as a potential candidate to replace Gordon Strachan following the failure to prise Michael O'Neill away from Northern Ireland.

The 69-year-old retired from football management in 2011 when he left Rangers for a second time but McNamara feels the Scotland job could bring him back into the game.

"It wouldn't surprise me," the former Celtic player said at a William Hill media event.

"If it's in your blood and you love the game and you're very passionate, it's very difficult just to drop football from your life.

"If you have been so much involved in it from playing to management and other things, it's part of your everyday life and to just suddenly stop, it's difficult.

"I was fortunate enough to work under Walter as a player with Scotland and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. I thought he was fantastic.

"I think he's a good choice. We have a lot of good candidates there who could come in and do a good job just now and Walter is certainly one of them."

Smith would be a controversial appointment given he left his role as Scotland boss midway through the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign to return to Ibrox, and because some would see it as a short-term step.

But McNamara said: "The importance of qualification is everything. Regardless of the background, it's just about getting us through the next qualifiers. I'm sure the whole nation would be happy."

The search for a new manager is in its fourth month and has been complicated by the sudden departure of Stewart Regan as Scottish Football Association chief executive, but McNamara feels the management job is the priority.

The former Partick Thistle, Dundee United and York manager said: "It's a difficult time and there's a lot of things to be resolved: the manager, friendlies in the summer, sponsors for the national team. We need stability.

"There's games next month that we need to prepare for, whether it's short term until it's all resolved. The most important thing is the national team."

McNamara moved from the training ground into the office when he became York chief executive in October 2016 but the 44-year-old does not see many candidates from a playing background emerging for the SFA role.

"Having seen the other side of it, you see the ins and outs and a lot of people don't understand how difficult it is to change things," he added.

"But, whoever it is, hopefully they can change things for the better because a lot of things need to be resolved and fixed."