Scottish FA strategy in trouble after Brian McClair exit - Willie Miller

Brian McClair has left his role as the Scottish Football Association's performance director
McClair was said to be uncomfortable 'lobbying and presenting in the boardroom'

The Scottish FA's development strategy is "in tatters" following the departure of performance director Brian McClair, fears former international defender Willie Miller.

McClair left last week after 17 months in the job.

"It's a devastating blow for the SFA and there are loads of questions that need to be answered in terms of the appointment," said Miller.

"We really need to get the position right next time."

McClair, 52, took the post in February 2015 after 30 years at Manchester United as a player, youth coach and academy director.

He succeeded Mark Wotte, with the Dutchman having mapped out a blueprint to help deliver players for the senior Scotland squad by 2020.

Announcing McClair's exit, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said the position "requires a different style of leadership and focus", adding that the ex-Celtic striker was not comfortable "lobbying and presenting in the boardroom".

'Flawed process'

In response, former Aberdeen captain and manager Miller, 61, added: "There is no doubting the ability of Brian McClair but surely the role is defined.

"If you have a performance director that doesn't have full knowledge of what is expected of him, then the process is flawed.

"It seems that the qualities that Brian has do not match the job he was employed for. So why, in the first place, did you employ him?

Willie Miller
Willie Miller worked closely with former SFA performance director Mark Wotte when he was director of football at Aberdeen

"At some point they must have talked about the role and what was expected, then surely Brian is going to say 'that's not really what I did at Man Utd'.

"We're five or six years into a development programme that was supposed to come to fruition in 2020. There's no chance of that happening now.

"It's really in tatters."

'Need for continuity'

Miller worked closely with "abrasive" Wotte while director of football at Pittodrie and insists the Dutchman largely got his way, despite club officials disagreeing with some of his methods.

"We had three years of Wotte pushing forward his thoughts," added Miller, capped 65 times. "We waited for Brian's vision and we hardly heard from him. It's 17 months wasted.

"Part of Wotte's plan was to establish 'a Scottish way' but the Scottish way seems to be that we keep changing performance director. We need continuity, we need someone to see this programme out.

"There is a huge amount of work to be done.

"We need someone in charge of the all the national age groups, all the academies have got to be brought together, then there's the SFA schools of football across the country and trying to improve facilities.

"We need someone to convince the clubs and take them with him.

"I'm bitterly disappointed it didn't work out for Brian but, more importantly, I'm disappointed for my country.

"I watched all of those small nations go home as heroes from Euro 2016 and we're struggling. We keep taking backward steps."