JACKIE McNamara has dismissed suggestions that Walter Smith is too old and has spent too long out of the game to be appointed Scotland manager for a second time.

Smith, who spent three years in charge of the national team between 2004 and 2007, has emerged as a surprise contender to replace Gordon Strachan.

The legendary Rangers manager, who turns 70 later this month, has been out of football since leading the Ibrox club to a third consecutive Scottish title in 2011.

Read more: Neil Cameron: Walter Smith’s turning 70 but will have to prove himself with Scotland

However, McNamara, who played under Smith towards the end of his international career, believes that he would be an inspired choice to lead the country to the Euro 2020 finals.

The Nine-In-A-Row-winning coach transformed Scotland’s fortunes after succeeding Berti Vogts and his former player believes he can do so once again.

“I think he would do a good job I enjoyed working with him when I played under him with Scotland,” he said. “He was very knowledgeable. I thought he was great.

“There are a lot of good candidates there who could come in as well, a lot of people mentioned. Neil Lennon at Hibs, Steve Clarke has done a great job at Kilmarnock. There are a few others. I don’t think anybody will really care who comes in as long as we qualify. That is really the most important thing.

“We will wait and see if Walter takes it. I thought he was fantastic when he was manager before. Most of the time I was up against his teams when he was at Rangers, but I enjoyed working with him at Scotland.”

Asked if he thought Smith’s age and the length of time he has spent out of the dugout would be a problem, he said: “No, not at all.

“There are other examples of that. Look at Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace). He had been out of the dugout for a little bit and now he is back in.

“I don’t know if Walter wants to do it, but there is no reason why he couldn’t step in. He won’t have forgotten anything and it isn’t as if he hasn’t been to the games.”

Read more: Neil Cameron: Walter Smith’s turning 70 but will have to prove himself with Scotland

McNamara added: “The game has changed. I look at younger players now and they are constantly looking to the side of the pitch. They want reassurance. Where should I be? Where should I stand? They want constant information and they stop thinking for themselves.

“But other managers have evolved through time. Sir Alex (Ferguson) was one who changed with the times. He understood the modern game and Walter can do that. It wouldn’t be a problem for him.

“Walter’s been successful and worked with the best Scottish managers. Success is what we need. We need to qualify, we need someone to get the best out of the players. He can do that.

“Being Scotland manager is different. You are only working with the players a few times a year. You need to prepare them and give them information. They don’t need to be coached. They need to be maintained and motivated.

“You need to be able to set them up for the importance of the game, keep them focused and calm so they can play their normal match.”

“Jackie McNamara was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.”