Killie manager Mixu Paatelainen is being linked with the vacant Finland National job, to replace Stuart Baxter who was sacked in November 2010. Paatelainen turned down the opportunity to manage English Championship outfit Scunthorpe United this week.
“Being linked with Finland has not affected my focus, if it did it would have affected me since last year,” Paatelainen said. “Speculation is always there and you just have to live with it. As far as I know, the Finnish FA will make their decision when the time is right for them. Scunthorpe wasn’t to be for me and I think people thought because I’d made that decision it must be for something else and came to the conclusion it was Finland but there are other reasons.”
“There has been plenty of speculation about the Finnish job. That started last autumn and then it went quiet and it has resurfaced again because of the Scunthorpe thing. I’m only focused on Kilmarnock and concentrating on a very important game we have coming up with St Johnstone. A point is enough for us to secure a top-six place. It will be very difficult for Inverness and St Johnstone to catch up but if they do then they fully deserve it but we want to get our top-six place.”
“There has also been some brief rumours saying that Kilmarnock would be open to Paatelainen taking over the role as Finland manager in a Part Time role. However the Finnish FA is not open to that idea, after previously refusing Celtic to appoint Stuart Baxter as a Director of Football to Neil Lennon on a part-time role.”