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Gordon Strachan leaves position as Scotland boss after failed World Cup bid

Daily Record logoDaily Record 12/10/2017 Record Sport Online
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Gordon Strachan has been AXED as Scotland manager after the national side failed qualify for next summer's World Cup in Russia.

A 2-2 draw in Slovenia dashed the Tartan Army's hopes of reaching the 2018 finals and SFA bosses have decided to part company with the boss after almost five years in charge since succeeding Craig Levein in 2013.

Strachan was criticised for his team selections and tactics throughout the campaign with his decision to keep Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths on the sidelines for the opening three matches proving costly.

The World Cup 2018 bid started off poorly with defeats to Slovakia and England, as well as a dire home draw with Lithuania, to put the Scots at an early disadvantage.

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Strachan did oversee a resurgence in his side's fortunes after that disastrous opening but despite a run of victories his men fell agonisingly short of reaching the play-offs.

Consecutive triumphs over the Lithuanians, Slovakians and minnows Malta put Scotland on the brink of second place in Group F, and despite leading 1-0 in Slovenia a poor second period dashed Strachan's ambitions of leading the national side to a first major tournament in 20 years.

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The SFA's decision brings to an end another era of disappointment for Scotland after Strachan failed to turn around an already doomed World Cup 2014 qualifying effort, followed by more heartbreak in a frustrating Euro 2016 campaign.

The governing body confirmed Strachan and No2 Mark McGhee's departure in a statement on Thursday afternoon, and speculation now turns to who will replace the outgoing boss as Scotland look to pick themselves up and go again for Euro 2020.

SFA chief Stewart Regan thanked Strachan for his efforts and said it was time for the national team to move in a new direction: “On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Gordon for his excellent service to the national team. I know how disappointed he was that we couldn’t secure a play-off place but to come so close was a tribute to the belief he instilled in his squad.

Credits: Jamie Williamson © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Jamie Williamson

“After almost five years the Board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming UEFA Nations League.

“We are grateful to both Gordon and Mark for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Related: Argentina 'united' after WC win (Sky Sports)



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