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SFA begin search for new Scotland manager after departure of Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan (SNS Group)
Gordon Strachan (SNS Group)

THE search for a new Scotland boss is now fully under way following the departure of Gordon Strachan on Thursday.

The Scottish Football Association announced both parties had decided change was needed following a board meeting in the wake of the national team’s failure to make the 2018 World Cup play-offs.

Ostensibly, there are no stand-out candidates to replace Strachan, 60, who had taken the job in January 2013.

Former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes and Malky Mackay, current performance director at the SFA, are among the bookmakers’ favourites while Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is also being quoted.

Other names being mentioned include former Scotland and Rangers boss Alex McLeish, ex-Scotland skipper Paul Lambert and former England manager Sam Allardyce.

Timeline: The ups and downs of Gordon Strachan’s tenure as Scotland boss

Captain Scott Brown, 32, persuaded out of international retirement by Strachan but now likely to return, posted on his Instagram account on Thursday: “Sad sad sad day. We all had faith in Gordon and believed in making the Euros. 14 points out of 18 in 2017 momentum was on our side.”

Celtic team-mate Leigh Griffiths said on his Instagram account: “Sad day, seeing the man who gave me my full scotland debut leave. Not a better man for the job in my eyes and I’m sure if he had stayed, he’d have taken us to the euros in 2020. #scotland”.

Scotland finished third in Group F behind Slovakia on goal difference with a 2-2 draw in Slovenia on Sunday seeing them fall just short, but a run of six unbeaten qualifiers led to calls for Strachan to carry on the momentum.

However, the governing body said that board members “agreed that a new national coach should be recruited to provide fresh impetus” and the announcement suggested the decision was mutual. Strachan’s assistant Mark McGhee also left with immediate effect.

Scotland have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France but with over a year to go before the 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign begins, the SFA have plenty time to select Strachan’s successor.