sport news Scotland boss McLeish 'excited' by appointment of Gerrard at Rangers: 'It's ...

Excited, optimistic, intrigued. Even from a vantage point 5,000 miles away Scotland manager Alex McLeish can feel a wind of change blowing through Scottish football. And he suspects it is no bad thing.

On his first day as Rangers manager, Steven Gerrard won't change in a telephone box like Superman.

There's no bag of swag to execute instant change. He doesn't possess healing hands.

Steven Gerrard will formally begin his four-year contract as Rangers manager on Friday

Steven Gerrard will formally begin his four-year contract as Rangers manager on Friday

In truth, no one has the faintest idea what to expect of a man taking his first steps in management.

Already expectation has been tempered by economic realities. The new man's efforts to sign the likes of former Liverpool team mate Martin Skrtel floundered at the wage demand.

Neither will Gerrard inherit the kind of squad McLeish took when he agreed to succeed Dick Advocaat 16 years ago.

There is no Ronald de Boer, no Arthur Numan or Barry Ferguson. Barely even a Bert Konterman.

Scotland's manager suspects a long, hard road lies ahead for his former club and their new, high-profile manager.

But that does nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for a bracing journey.

'I am excited by the whole Gerrard appointment and his arrival in Scottish football,' said McLeish. 'I think it's great for our game. If Gerrard gets the money then, of course, he will attempt to get close to Celtic.

'It's still not a level playing field for the rest of the chasing pack. But Hibs, Hearts and Aberdeen are improving all the time.

'We have some brilliant managers working in the top flight and Gerrard and his assistant Gary McAllister will only enhance that and our standing.

'It's exciting times because they will generate a lot of interest and if they, in turn, generate great Scottish young players then we have won a watch.' History shows that an Old Firm arms race is rarely good news for the manager of Scotland.

Celtic will form the core of the national team which enters the Nations League with a home game against Albania in September. Rangers winger Jamie Murphy started the 2-0 defeat to Peru in Lima on Wednesday.

A glass-half-full man, McLeish likes to think the profile Gerrard brings to the SPFL can be good for both the league and Scotland's national team.

'Our league has been maligned over the past few seasons, but I think there has been an improvement this season,' he said.

Alex McLeish admits he is 'excited' by the arrival of Gerrard to the Scottish Premiership

Alex McLeish admits he is 'excited' by the arrival of Gerrard to the Scottish Premiership

'Look at Hibs

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