STEVE Clarke memorably compared the inside of his head to a tumble dryer yesterday.

While it was unusual to see this generally unflappable 55-year-old, a breath of fresh air since in our game since arriving at Rugby Park, with his head in a spin it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the SFA board look at the quiet miracles he has achieved at Kilmarnock and have concluded he might just be the man capable of making the Scotland national team smell of roses again.

Indeed, had they not arrived at the same fairly obvious conclusion after being rebuffed by Michael O’Neill back in January the brand of the men’s national team might not be quite as soiled as it is right now. The only question is why it has taken so long.

With Scotland, of course, nothing is ever done until is done. The Brighton job – a manager’s post in the FA Premiership – could be hard to resist, should the speculation linking Clarke with that post come to fruition.

The likes of Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, Scotland Under-21 boss Scot Gemmill are other names still in the frame for Scotland, but Herald Sport understands that Clarke is the SFA’s preferred candidate to replace Alex McLeish and that at least represents a step in the right direction from a board who were widely taken to task for the way they went about their last piece of managerial recruitment.

Clarke’s depth of coaching experience takes some beating – especially within the SFA’s price range.

A man with 400-plus playing appearance for Chelsea, not only has he worked with John Terry and the other millionaires of the Premier League era, but he has managed to get a tune out of 21-year-olds earning a fraction of that cash in Ayrshire.

He is a manager of the present, not just an assistant manager of the past. He is a proper coach, happiest working away methodically on the training field, a canny tactical guru and a mean man manager. The SFA will be getting three or four employees for the price of one if they can seal the deal.

Forget about those run-ins with the association’s disciplinary system - even if, as the schedule would have it, he is up before the beaks at Hampden today of all days.

Okay, there could be the odd awkward conversation or two as he walks along the sixth floor of Hampden some days. But the same equally applied to Craig Levein in his pre-Scotland Hearts days and he lived to tell the tale.

The far bigger decision rests with Clarke himself. Whether the unique patterns of international management are suited to a man for whom club football has been his entire existence.

Where Kilmarnock offered a pleasing equilibrium for a man with family ties to the local area, the Scotland job offers long periods of relative inactivity followed by a short burst of frantic activity. Should he accept the job, that has never more been the case than it will be in the next few weeks.

Because had they appointed him when the O’Neill deal collapsed back in January, Clarke could have enjoyed a peaceful bedding in process, six months to assess his squad before entering the gentle starter of the Uefa Nations League.

Instead, if he were to accept the job in the next few days, he would have a week or so to name his first squad for the upcoming double header against Cyprus and Belgium. While it is nice to have the Nations League play-off in the bag, those two matches will go a long way to deciding whether anything is salvageable from our European Championship campaign.

On the other hand, Scotland is Scotland. And the pull of that shouldn’t be underestimated to a man like Clarke who should have won far more than the six caps he gained as a player. Considering his light has been hidden behind that of others for so much of his career, he is more than due his bit of the limelight. He may even be able to do the job and still find time to spend more hours with his grandchildren based south of the border.

If his Kilmarnock side are anything to go by, Scotland under Clarke will be a return to first principles.

A solid defence, a well-organised structure, and allowing skill players to play within that. A hallmark of Craig Brown’s teams back when Scotland used to qualify for things, it isn’t the worst blueprint Scotland have ever had.

It’s over to you then, Steve. Your country needs you.