Stra­chan sets job talks aside as he fo­cuses on task at hand

Scot­land man­ager wants to seal Euro 2016 qual­i­fi­ca­tion be­fore mak­ing next move


GOR­DON Stra­chan, whose con­tract as Scot­land man­ager ex­pires next month, will leave ne­go­ti­a­tions about his fu­ture un­til af­ter his side’s fi­nal Euro 2016 dou­ble header against Poland and Gi­bral­tar.

Stra­chan’s team can qual­ify for their first ma­jor tour­na­ment fi­nals since France 98 if they can win their fi­nal two fix­tures next week and the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land’s re­sults against Ger­many at home and Poland away go their way.

The for­mer Celtic man­ager has im­proved the na­tional side since suc­ceed­ing Craig Levein at the start of 2013 and many mem­bers of the Tar­tan Army would like to see him stay on re­gard­less of whether they progress to France next sum­mer.

SFA pres­i­dent Alan McRae and chief ex­ec­u­tive Stewart Re­gan have both stated pub­licly that the 58-year-old can con­tinue in the role – but he is fo­cus­ing fully on the two re­main­ing Group D fix­tures next week.

“I have never thought about it, hon­estly,” he said when asked about his per­sonal sit­u­a­tion. “My whole ca­reer has been like that. I have never planned ahead. I just live for the day, or the next game com­ing up or what­ever. And it has been a great jour­ney.

“I just want to fo­cus on this. I am go­ing to look for­ward to the game. You will un­der­stand if I just want to con­cen­trate on the game. It is a huge, huge game, and it would be un­fair of me to start talk­ing about me.

“I don’t think about me at this mo­ment in time. There will be a time when, yes, let’s talk about me, be­cause that’s only right. But not at this time.

“I have never re­ally thought about my fu­ture wher­ever I am in football. I just con­tinue and see where I end up. We will speak about that once the cam­paign is out the way. The games are far more im­por­tant.”

How­ever, Stra­chan has given a strong in­di­ca­tion that he would be pre­pared to re­main in charge of Scot­land for the 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign – and two com­pet­i­tive matches against Eng­land – by un­der­lin­ing his con­tent­ment in the po­si­tion.

“I am en­joy­ing what I do,” he said. “I am en­joy­ing the peo­ple I work with. Hope­fully it’s got a few months left to go. You en­joy it when you make peo­ple happy, no mat­ter what job you are in. When you have the na­tional job, it’s fan­tas­tic to make peo­ple in towns and cities happy. Money can’t buy that.

“Do I miss the day-to-day as­pect? No. I have plenty go­ing on in my life with five grand­chil­dren, trust me. I love what I am do­ing just now, but we will talk af­ter we fin­ish this cam­paign.”

Mean­while, Stra­chan, who re­called Black­burn striker Jor­dan Rhodes to the Scot­land squad for the Poland and Gi­bral­tar games and has brought in Wolves midfielder Kevin McDon­ald and Graeme Shin­nie of Aberdeen, stressed Char­lie Mul­grew would be al­lowed to prove his fit­ness.

Mul­grew has been side­lined for three weeks with a thigh in­jury which his club man­ager Ronny Deila pre­dicted could rule him out of the Scot­land games. How­ever, the util­ity man has been in­cluded in the 27 man pool.

“I spoke to Char­lie and we agreed to put him in the squad and he will tell us in the next cou­ple of days whether he can make it or can’t make it,” said Stra­chan.

“In con­junc­tion with Ronny, Celtic and my­self, we will see what is the best for the player.

“Char­lie is three play­ers, re­ally. He can play in three dif­fer­ent po­si­tions and he has be­come a huge player for us. But we are lucky, we have good play­ers to call on if Char­lie can’t make it.

“We would love Char­lie to be here, he is good about the place, he is a ter­rific player.”

Pic­ture: SNS

HAPPY IN THE POST: Strachan hinted that he would like to be in charge for the World Cup cam­paign.

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