Scotland have begun their search for a new manager after Walter Smith resigned to return to former club Rangers FC.
Smith departed the Scottish Football Association (SFA) today along with forwards' coach Ally McCoist, ending a successful spell in charge since he took the job in December 2004 as successor to Berti Vogts. Results improved quickly, and although Smith was unable to lead the squad to last year's FIFA World Cup, they have been in fine form in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying. A 1-0 win against France in October ensured Scotland lead Group B, ahead of Les Bleus on the head-to-head rule and two points clear of world champions Italy, as they seek to reach the continental finals for the first time since 1996.
SFA chief executive David Taylor, whose national team return to action on 24 March at home to Georgia, four days before visiting Italy, said: "Walter's departure is a serious blow to the Scottish FA. He has done an excellent job for us and the Scottish national team. We are very disappointed that he has chosen to leave us at this critical time in our EURO 2008™ qualification campaign."
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