Gordon Strachan steps down as Scotland manager

The 60-year old’s contract comes to an end next month and SFA will not renew his deal

Gordon Strachan has left his role as Scotland head coach with immediate effect, the Scottish Football Association has announced.

Scotland missed out on World Cup qualification, finishing third behind England and Slovakia in Group F.

Strachan was appointed in January 2013 but he was unable to arrest a slide that has seen the national side fail to qualify for a major international tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

The Scottish FA said in a statement: “The board of the Scottish FA and Gordon Strachan have agreed that the Scotland national team will be led by a new head coach in preparation for the Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

“Gordon’s tenure will end with immediate effect along with that of his assistant coach, Mark McGhee. We are grateful to Gordon for the passion, professionalism and commitment demonstrated since his appointment in January 2013.

“While the nation’s collective disappointment at not qualifying for the play-offs for the 2018 Fifa World Cup is understandable, it was nevertheless a mark of Gordon’s capabilities – and the squad’s belief in the coaching team – that we recovered from a poor first half of the campaign to get back into contention for a play-off place.

“Notwithstanding our unbeaten run in the group throughout 2017, with the emergence of a younger generation of players it was agreed that a new national coach should be recruited to provide fresh impetus.”

Strachan added: “I said on my first day as Scotland manager that it was the proudest moment of my career and that I wanted to put a smile back on the nation’s face again. I share the profound disappointment at missing out on the play-offs, especially having worked so hard to fight our way back into contention.

“The players should receive immense credit for that resilience in coming back from a difficult start and I would like to thank each and every player who has come in to represent their country. Together we have shared some really magical moments and those memories will live with me for ever.”

David Moyes, Malky Mackay, Derek McInnes and Alex McLeish are among the early favourites listed by bookmakers to replace Strachan.

(Guardian service)