Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes the Scotland national team have been held back by the timing of Gordon Strachan's sacking by the SFA.

Lennon says that there was definite progress under the former Celtic manager despite his inability to lead the nation to a major finals.

He now sympathises with current Scotland manager Steve Clarke, who has been left to pick up the pieces of Alex McLeish’s ill-fated second spell in charge of the national side, but given time, he thinks the former Kilmarnock boss is the right man to do just that.

“For me, I have to look at the decision-making at times,” Lennon said. “I thought Gordon Strachan had a good thing going.

“Ok, he didn’t qualify for the last tournament, but they were close to making the play-offs and they were unbeaten in their last six or seven competitive games, so they were going in the right way.

“There was a structure there, there was a platform there, but with the change of manager it’s almost like a restart again, and then there’s another restart again.

“You could see, well I could, the progress under Gordon. Maybe he failed to reach his targets of making a tournament, and I get that, but you could see progression and players playing well for Scotland.

“Even his last result was a draw away to Slovakia, which is alright. It’s pretty decent.

“They were minutes away from beating England, so there was obviously quality there.

“With new managers coming in and players getting disenfranchised with it, Steve has now got to go and pick up the baton again.

“Managers take time to fix the problems, of course they do, but you know what it’s like in international management.

“They don’t get to see the players for two or three months at a time, and then in that concise two week window you have to get everything right, and that’s a very difficult thing to do I think for any manager, no matter who you are.”