Former Scotland boss Craig Levein backs Gordon Strachan to stay on in the role

Hearts manager Craig Levein (SNS Group / Bruce White)
Hearts manager Craig Levein (SNS Group / Bruce White)

FORMER Scotland manager Craig Levein believes Gordon Strachan should be given more time to continue the national team’s recent improvement.

Scottish Football Association board members have begun arriving at Hampden for a meeting at which Strachan’s future will be discussed.

The 60-year-old’s contract expires next month, following Scotland’s failure to reach the World Cup play-offs, and pressure is growing in some quarters for the SFA to look elsewhere after almost five years in the role.

However, Scotland are unbeaten in six games this year and Strachan was non-committal on his future after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Slovenia, only stressing that his disappointment was reserved for the players first and foremost, along with family and fans.

Levein, Strachan’s predecessor, said: “I know the fans are disappointed but the players feel it more than anybody. Trust me. It’s them who want to look back on their careers and say they played at big tournaments.

“But things are improving and I would like to see Gordon get another go and I’m sure the players would as well.

“I genuinely do believe there has been progress so I hope Gordon is still in place and gives it another go.

“It’s a lonely job and a tough one. He’ll be disappointed but I’m sure he’ll be disappointed for the guys who tried valiantly to get themselves to a major tournament.”

Meanwhile, St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has laughed off speculation linking him with the role should Strachan depart.

“My agent must be doing well,” Wright joked. “I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I saw a list of some of the other names mentioned for the Scotland job… I feel quite humble about it.

“I’m concentrating on doing a job, Gordon Strachan has had a great end to the campaign and was unfortunate with the result they had in the last game. My focus is just totally on trying to get a result against Rangers.”