Whis­tle blown on Stra­chan’s Scot­land reign.

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

Gor­don Stra­chan’s reign as Scot­land man­ager is over, with the SFA start­ing their hunt for the man they hope will give the na­tional side the “fresh im­pe­tus” it needs to end the long ex­ile from cham­pi­onship fi­nals, writes Eric Ni­col­son.

Stra­chan and his now for­mer em­ploy­ers came to “joint agree­ment” that the re­cently-fin­ished World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign would be his last.

The board meet­ing was un­der­stood to have lasted for around half-an­hour, with the de­ci­sion to cut ties with Stra­chan pretty much unan­i­mous.

A “sad sad sad day” was the re­ac­tion of cap­tain Scott Brown.

His sec­ond in­ter­na­tional retirement is ex­pected af­ter Stra­chan’s de­par­ture.

Davie Moyes is the book­ies’ favourite to re­place him. Cur­rent SFA per­for­mance di­rec­tor Malky Mackay is a close sec­ond.

There is no ur­gency, how­ever, with North­ern Ire­land’s play-off fate, and the knock-on ef­fect fail­ure to make it to Rus­sia would have on Michael O’neill’s will­ing­ness to be con­sid­ered, sure to be a fac­tor.

Mark Mcghee, Stra­chan’s as­sis­tant, has also left his post.

Stewart Re­gan, SFA chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “On be­half of the board I would like to thank Gor­don for his ex­cel­lent ser­vice to the na­tional team.

“I know how dis­ap­pointed he was that we couldn’t se­cure a play-off place but to come so close was a trib­ute to the be­lief he in­stilled in his squad.

“Af­ter al­most five years the board felt it was time for a new di­rec­tion to pre­pare for the Uefa Euro 2020 qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign and also the forth­com­ing Uefa Na­tions League.

“We are grate­ful to both Gor­don and Mark for their ef­forts and wish them the best of luck in the fu­ture.”

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 would like to thank each and ev­ery player who has come in to rep­re­sent their coun­try.

“To­gether we have shared some re­ally mag­i­cal mo­ments and those mem­o­ries will live with me for ever.

“Of course, what made those mo­ments spe­cial was the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of our fans.

“Through highs and lows you have stayed with the team and my big­gest re­gret is not be­ing able to pro­vide the fi­nals tour­na­ment you de­serve.

“I would like to thank the board, the back­room staff and ev­ery­one at the Scot­tish FA for the help and sup­port they have given me as na­tional coach. It has been a real priv­i­lege.”

Twit­ter: @C_eni­col­son

SNS Group.

Gor­don Stra­chan: left his post with Scot­land af­ter see­ing World Cup hopes ended in Slove­nia on Sun­day.pic­ture:

Time up: Gor­don Stra­chan and as­sis­tant Mark Mcghee.

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