SFA chief gives backing to Scotland boss Craig Levein

Chief Executive Stewart Regan backs current manager to lead Tartan Army to 2014 World Cup, despite failure to qualify for Euro 2012 following 3-1 defeat to Spain

The SFA have backed Craig Levein, despite Scotland's failure to qualify for the Euro 2012 championships.

Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Spain in Alicante dashed the Scot’s hopes of securing a play-off spot as Levein’s side finished third in their qualifying group, and it will be 16 years since the Tartan Army have reached major international tournament by the time of the 2014 World Cup.

Despite the failure to qualify for next year’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan believes Levein has the managerial experience to bring about a new era of Scottish success.

Speaking to reporters, Regan said: "People are often very short-termist when it comes to football at international level - you are only as good as if you have qualified or not.

"Here at the Scottish FA we recognise that when Craig started this campaign we weren't starting off in an ideal situation. He inherited a team that was in disarray and there was a lot of building that was needed, a lot of relationships that had to be put in place.

"What Craig has done, very successfully I believe, is create a club Scotland mentality, a real team ethos, where he has worked a lot closer with the players, got to know them, created trust and respect amongst the squad and that has started to pay dividends with some of our performances.

"The performance against Denmark here at Hampden in August was very encouraging and the last few games, to be fair, we have shown signs of progress. He has learnt from some of the mistakes earlier in the campaign and the second half has been indicative of where this young squad could get to in the future.

"We are at the end of a campaign, we haven't qualified, but we aren't going to let that get us down. It's a case of targeting the future now and looking at what learnings we can take in putting our plan together."