Scotland part with Strachan after missing out on 2018 World Cup

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Failure to reach next summer's global showpiece in Russia means that the Scots will be under new leadership by the time they next take to the field

Scotland have taken the decision to part with Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee after missing out on the 2018 World Cup.

A 2-2 draw with Slovenia in their final qualification contest was not enough to force the Scots into a play-off spot and they will play no part at next summer’s global showpiece in Russia.

Strachan had been charged with guiding Scotland towards that goal, with his contract set to expire in November.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) have, however, opted to break that agreement early, allowing them to move in a different direction as future plans are put in place.

Chief executive Stewart Regan said in a statement released by the SFA: “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.

“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.”

Strachan, who saw his reign start promising but fade towards a frustrating conclusion, 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 forever.

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“Of course, what made those moments special was the unwavering support of our fans. Through highs and lows you have stayed with the team and my biggest regret is not being able to provide the finals tournament you deserve. 

“I would like to thank the Board, the backroom staff and everyone at the Scottish FA for the help and support they have given me as national coach. It has been a real privilege.”

Strachan succeeded Craig Levein in January 2013 and took in 40 games at the Scotland helm, with his final record reading: 19 wins, nine draws and 12 defeats.

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