Steve Clarke, the Kilmarnock manager, is set to face Scottish Football Association disciplinary action following his scathing verbal attack on referee Steven McLean at the weekend.

Clarke, who has been installed as one of the favourites to succeed Alex McLeish as Scotland manager, described McLean’s display at Rugby Park on Saturday as the worst he had witnessed in his career.

And the 55-year-old, who was given a two game suspended touchline ban back in October for criticising the SFA disciplinary process, stated the match official should no longer be allowed to take charge of Kilmarnock matches.

McLean, who sent Kirk Broadfoot, Stuart Findlay and Rory McKenzie off in the 1-0 defeat Kilmarnock suffered to their Ladbrokes Premiership rivals Aberdeen, is the son of Hall of Fame member Stuart. He required a police escort to get to his car after a result that saw the visitors leapfrog their hosts in the top flight table.

SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte looks certain to take a dim view of the criticism of McLean when she returns to work after the Easter break today and issue Clarke with a notice of complaint.

Disciplinary rule 72 states managers cannot criticise the performance of the match official, imply incompetence or bias or make remarks which impinge on his character.

The former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant manager said: “That’s the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen in my career.

“Since I’ve been here, he’s always seemed to struggle with Kilmarnock games. Maybe, or definitely, that’s because his father was a player here for so many years.

“I have mentioned privately that maybe Steven shouldn’t referee Kilmarnock games just to take that extra pressure off him. Now I’m saying it publicly. I think it would be better for Steven as a referee and for Kilmarnock as club.”

Meanwhile, Gary Dicker, the Kilmarnock midfielder, believes what Clarke has done at Rugby Park shows he would be a good choice to take over the running of the national team.

The Irishman feels the fact that he has turned a group of players who were languishing near the bottom of the league and facing the prospect of being relegated and turned them into a top six side challenging for a place in Europe make him an ideal candidate.

Scotland made a disastrous start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign under McLeish, losing 3-0 to Kazakhstan away in Nursultan last month and then failing to impress in a meaningless match against San Marino in Serravalle.

Former Republic of Ireland Under-21 player Dicker feels that Clarke, who has admitted it would be an honour to manage his country at some stage in his career, could lift the national team in their remaining Group I matches.

"The job he’s done here is such that you can hardly believe it," he said. "Having been in that dressing room when he first came in, I know how the bad the place was.

"I don’t mean that as in what previous managers were like, but there’s just been a change in mentality. Even the calibre of player we are now bringing in has come on leaps and bounds to be fair.

"The whole club has moved up a gear or two and that’s credit to the gaffer, all the staff and the boys as well.

"I’ve said it before, you look at all the other squads that have been down there this season. They’ve ripped them apart bringing in 15 to 20 players, changing it all about. He’s brought in one or two and that was it. The rest is down to his work.

"I can see why people will think if he’s improved Kilmarnock maybe he can do the same with Scotland."

However, Dicker doesn't reckon Clarke - the former West Brom and Reading manager who has publicly admitted he is keen to work in England, where his wife and family are still based, again - will take the Scotland job if the SFA approach him.

"I don’t think he’ll be looking at that at this stage although that’s just me guessing," he said.

"I think he likes the day to day stuff. He’s a coach as well as a manager and he enjoys being around it.

"I don’t think he’s one to sit around. He loves training and is always in and about it. Me speaking, I can’t see it, but you never know.

"I know Scotland got beat that time (in Kazakhstan), but everything does get blown up.

"Obviously it was a bad result and you can pick the holes out of anything and hammer anyone. I think it’s one of the easiest things to do in any walk of life is criticise.

"They should be doing better. But look at the squad they had that night and players who aren’t playing. If you think of the boys who don’t play at the moment, that’s more of a concern. Why?"