Former Celtic and Middlesborough manager Gordon Strachan has been officially unveiled as the new Scotland manager replacing Craig Levein who was sacked following the loss to Belgium in their 2014 World Cup qualifier, which effectively signalled the end of Scotland’s pursuit to qualify for Brazil.
He will start the role with immediate effect and his first match in charge will be February’s international friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie.
The former Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds United player who amassed 50 caps for Scotland, will be handed a contract that will see him lead the team through the remaining World Cup 2014 qualifying games and also through the European Championships in 2016.
On his appointment as Scotland manager, Strachan said: “I am very, very proud. Proud for myself and proud for my family and friends.
“It shows you how important the Scotland job is and it is a great day for me to be able to take up this opportunity. It’s been 40 years in the making but it has been worth it.
“I know I face challenges, on behalf of the nation, but I hope to be able to make this nation proud… with help from other people.
“I believe the time is right for me to make the move into international football as I have had the European experience and how to deal with players.
“I always wanted to be Scotland manager and, with the help of a lot of other managers and players, I am here today.”
He also called on his new charges to give the fans back something, given the level of support they have given the team over the years.
Strachan added: “I really want the squad and the staff to give something back to the country and the fans who support us because the fans are probably more famous than the squad now. So what we want to try and do is to give back something and make them turn up for a major finals competition.
“If we work together as a group and a set of fans I know for a fact we’ll be successful,” he added. “I can’t ask for anything more than we’re doing at the moment. We’re going to use the games to try and win. My philosophy is to win games of football, like Manchester United.
“We still have to collect as many points as we can and it’s disrespectful to say we’ll use the games just to improve. We’ll give it a go.
“What I know is that these guys, for all they might get criticised, are the best at what they do. They play for Scotland and we have to find a system that suits these players to win games of football.”
After the Estonia friendly, Strachan will face three World Cup qualifiers against Wales at Hampden and away trips to Serbia and Croatia, before embarking on a ‘friendly’ game against the Auld Enemy – England – in August.
We would like to hear the thoughts of the Scotland fans, do you think that Strachan is the best candidate for the job? Was he your choice? Do you think the Scottish FA have got it right third time lucky or will he flop like Burley and Levein? Give us your views.