Beattie admits Smith exit worry
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Craig Beattie says Walter Smith leaving for Rangers would be a huge blow for Scotland.
Scotland striker Craig Beattie says Walter Smith leaving for Rangers would be a huge blow to the national team.
The Scotland manager is rumoured to be in line to return to Ibrox following the departure of Paul Le Guen on Thursday.
Smith has turned around Scotland's fortunes since taking over from Berti Vogts in 2004, with last year's famous win over France highlighting the job he has done.
Beattie hopes Smith will resist the temptation to return to Rangers, where he spent seven years between 1991 and 1998, for the good of the national team.
"It's been rumoured and if it does happen then, yes, I think it will be a massive blow for Scotland," Beattie said.
"He's done very well since he has taken over and I'm sure there will be a lot of disappointed lads there."
Celtic boss Gordon Strachan refused to be drawn on the prospect of Smith becoming the new Rangers manager.
"I've not thought about it," Strachan said. "I like to see Scotland winning and he's been excellent but it's a decision Walter will make.
"His decisions so far in life have been good so let's see what unfolds."
Meanwhile, Beattie has backed Barry Ferguson to come through after his recent turmoil at Rangers.
Beattie added: "It's hard to comment because I don't know what's gone on behind the scenes. But on the park Barry's a born winner and nobody can take that away from him.
"I'm sure he has got the best interests of the club at heart but the manager (Le Guen) made his decision."