Craig Levein stressed today that the experience of managing Scotland has not soured him at all and insisted he is glad he took the opportunity to coach his country.
Now Hearts’ director of football, Levein is overseeing the redevelopment of the Tynecastle club after spending 18 months out of football. He was relieved of his duties as national coach in November 2012 after Scotland suffered a dismal start to their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign.
Despite some very public criticism coming his way at the time, Levein said he only took positives from his time with the national team.
“The overriding feeling is I’m delighted I did it,” he explained. “Obviously things didn’t work out as well as I wanted, but for me it was a positive experience. The Hearts job is the first job that’s come my way in which I feel I can make a difference. That’s what I want to do, try and make a difference.
“I’m working a lot harder, particularly compared with my last job as Scotland manager. There, I had sporadic moments of madness for two weeks and in between it was quiet. I was just visiting clubs and watching games. There’s a lot more involved in this.”
Scotland’s next competitive match is away to World Cup finalists Germany in September, but Levein does not plan on offering his successor, Gordon Strachan, any advice.
“Listen, Gordon’s doing a fantastic job. I’ll not be telling him what to do,” he laughed.