Scots axe Strachan after World Cup exit
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.