SFA performance director Malky Mackay admits that it would be hard for him to turn down the Scotland national coach’s job if it was offered to him.

Mackay took the job on an interim basis for next week’s friendly match against The Netherlands following the departure of Gordon Strachan after the nation failed to reach next summer’s World Cup.

He is putting his current full-time role on hold until after the match at Pittodrie next Thursday, and he says it would not be possible to take on both roles simultaneously.

That means that if his very public audition goes well next week, and he is offered the manager’s job on a permanent basis, the SFA will be looking for a new leader to drive Project Brave forward.

“What Scottish manager wouldn’t take the Scotland job? It’s ludicrous to say that,” said Mackay. “So, I’m not being false in that.

“I’ve got a job, I’m in a job. The board have got a decision to make on where they want to go with that. But my day job has been put on hold for a month.

“There is a big job I’ve got on my own. And this is a nice, lovely little distraction I have at the moment – and it takes up my whole focus, don’t worry about that.

“It’s hypothetical, I’m doing nothing other than concentrating on Holland, because that’s a big enough task at hand.

“I’m in this job for the next couple of weeks and I’m proud to have been asked to do this for the next couple of weeks.

“But I’ve got a job at the moment. I’m the performance director. And the two of them are separate at this time. I’m just looking at the next couple of weeks. After that I go back to my own job – and then it’s up to the board to decide what they want to do after that. It’s not my decision.

“I’m humbled and honoured, really honoured, to have been given this chance.

“Somebody sent me a message pointing out that it’s very few people who get the chance, even if it’s only for a month, to play for their country and then manage their country.

“But it’s for a month. And it’s to make sure that this squad comes together – and stakes their claim.”

Mackay’s first and perhaps only Scotland squad selection has raised a few eyebrows, with 10 members of Gordon Strachan’s last squad missing and three brand new faces called in altogether among eight uncapped players.

Paul Hanlon, Jason Cummings and Ryan Christie all come into the squad for the first time, while Jordan Archer, Liam Cooper, Ryan Jack, Callum McGregor and Graeme Shinnie are the other players yet to turn out for their country.

Despite Mackay stressing he is looking to shape a Scotland team with an eye to the future, veterans such as Scott Brown and Darren Fletcher also remain in the squad.

“I’m not sure if Scott Brown or Darren Fletcher make themselves available for their country that there would be too many people who wouldn’t want them there,” Mackay said.

“With a lot of the younger ones, I think you need that strength of experience, that character, and the type of personalities that they both are in among that.

“I wouldn’t advocate bringing the whole under-21 squad up to play full internationals, you need a blend to qualify for tournaments, it’s always better for a young player to play alongside an experienced player.

“Look at Ross McCrorie, who has been playing really well for us. He’s playing alongside Bruno Alves, what could be better to bring Ross on?

“You see how Stuart Armstrong has gone from strength to strength, as has Callum McGregor from playing in there with Scott Brown, I just think it’s the way to take young players and improve them.”