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STRACHAN SIMPLY DELAYING THE INEVITABLE

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SCOTLAND manager Gordon Strachan last night refused to even contemplate his own future as his side crashed out of the World Cup after a bitterly disappointing 2-2 draw against a Slovenian side with nothing but pride to play for.

It’s the latest hard-luck story for the long suffering Tartan Army to endure although this time most will recognise that the side yesterday was simply not good enough to get Scotland through.

Strachan reverted to a 4-4-2 starting line-up and looked to his old favourites from the lower English leagues to get the job done. Many of these players gave their all on Wednesday’s night win over play-off qualifiers Slovakia but rather than introduce fresh legs and new blood into the team, Strachan stood by his old pals and Scotland are out.

Last weekend John McGinn and Callum McGregor scored four goals between them and in doing so laid claim to a place in the Scotland team for either of these two must win games. Strachan opted instead to play Barry Bannan in both of these crucial games.

This error and many others too, seemed to be too much for Scotland supporters and the calls for Strachan to go were loud and clear last night.

But Strachan is nothing if not stubborn.

While discussing his future Strachan said: “At this moment, I’m the last person thinking about the future.
“But the players in there, I’ve got to look after them. Not a problem about me. I’m really proud to be the manager.
“We’re hurting but not as much as them [the players]. Fans can’t hurt like them, I can’t hurt like them, so there shouldn’t be any talk about what I’m thinking, what I’m doing at this moment in time.
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“I’m thinking about looking after the players.
“They can be proud of themselves and actually it’s an honour to be their coach.
“I’ve worked with some great bunches of lads and – no disrespect to anyone – they gave as much as anybody I’ve ever worked with.”

Strachan added: “Hopefully, nobody in sport will have to feel the way these guys are feeling at the moment.

“But I think sometimes in life you have to hurt badly before you achieve things.
“And if that’s the way things work, then the lads will go on – with their country and individual clubs – and achieve great things.

“They come here of their own free will – no one gives them big contracts – and they can be proud of what they have achieved.”

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