Scots axe Stra­chan af­ter World Cup exit

Sunderland Echo - - Football -

Gor­don Stra­chan has left his role as Scot­land man­ager af­ter the Scot­tish FA de­cided “fresh im­pe­tus” was re­quired to end a 20-year ab­sence from the big stage.

The gov­ern­ing body said both par­ties had de­cided change was needed, fol­low­ing a board meet­ing in the wake of Scot­land miss­ing out on the World Cup play-offs.

Stra­chan’s con­tract was due to end next month and his fate was by no means cer­tain af­ter a sec­ond near-miss in qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Scot­land fin­ished third in Group F be­hind Slo­vakia on goal dif­fer­ence with a 2-2 draw in Slove­nia on Sun­day see­ing them fall just short, but a run of six un­beaten qual­i­fiers led to calls for Stra­chan to carry on.

How­ever, the SFA board mem­bers “agreed that a new na­tional coach should be re­cruited to pro­vide fresh im­pe­tus” and the an­nounce­ment sug­gested the de­ci­sion was mu­tual. Stra­chan’s as­sis­tant, ex-New­cas­tle striker Mark McGhee, has also left.

Stra­chan said: “I said on my first day as Scot­land man­ager that it was the proud­est mo­ment of my ca­reer and that I wanted to put a smile back on the na­tion’s face again. I share the pro­found dis­ap­point­ment at miss­ing out on the play-offs, es­pe­cially hav­ing worked so hard to fight our way back into con­tention.

“The play­ers should re­ceive im­mense credit for that re­silience in coming back from a dif­fi­cult start and I’d like to thank each and ev­ery player who has come in to rep­re­sent their coun­try. To­gether we have shared some re­ally mag­i­cal mo­ments. Those mem­o­ries will live with me for­ever.”

Ex-Sun­der­land boss David Moyes, Malky Mackay, the SFA’s per­for­mance di­rec­tor, Paul Lam­bert, Derek McInnes and Alex McLeish are high in the book­ies’ odds, but the SFA could look fur­ther afield.

Gor­don Stra­chan.

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