WHILE Aberdeen fans will doubtless view the timing with suspicion, Brendan Rodgers was nothing, if not convincing, when banging the drum for Derek McInnes to become the next Scotland manager.
The Dons host Celtic, at Pittodrie on Wednesday night, where the two clubs will put their unbeaten starts to the 2017-18 Premiership campaign on the line.
It is a match which will also see Rodgers and McInnes pit their wits against one another against a backdrop of mutual respect.
The Hoops boss likes the way his opposite number works. So much so that he was happy to both place Ryan Christie with Aberdeen on loan and recommend to Gary Mackay-Steven he pick the North East club to join out of a handful of would-be buyers.
“I think Derek would be a great choice for Scotland,” he said, of the man who currently sits at 14/1 in the betting behind the likes of Davie Moyes and Michael O’Neill.
“I’m sure it would be really hard for him to leave Aberdeen and what he’s created there. But if the chance ever came to him to be the national manager I think he’d do a great job.
“What you have is a guy who has played at the top level in England – he’s played for Scotland – so he’s had that experience. Not that it counts for everything.
“In terms of being able to revamp the technical idea, he’s someone who is hungry and he’s a passionate Scotsman. I see that in him.
“He’s got a great brain for football and he’s someone with energy to carry it through. I have no doubt he’d do a great job.”
Not least because he believes he would be able to form a productive partnership with Malkay Mackay, interim manager for next month’s friendly against Holland and the SFA’s Performance Director.
“I think it would be a perfect fit, I really do,” said Rodgers, voicing his belief the post should be a full-time rather than part-time position.
“With Malky and what he’ll look to do with his technical expertise in terms of trying to shape all elements of the game such as coaching, lifestyle and all that side.
“What is vitally important is you have then two people in tandem that can work together for the benefit of the game.
“It’s clearly what’s needed, there’s no doubt about that. If you can look at it and you think of that two as a dynamic.
“They are hungry, passionate Scottish guys who have good experiences both in the south as players and coaching and management before then bringing it up here, I think you have a very, very good fit there.
“It would work well I’d be pretty sure of that.”