Strachan won’t rush decision on Scotland future

Date published: Saturday 10th October 2015 7:55 - Mark Holmes

Gordon Strachan: Will take time to decide Scotland future

Gordon Strachan will “speak to a few people” before he makes a decision about whether to stay on as Scotland manager.

The national team manager’s contract ends after the final 2016 Euro qualifier against Gibraltar in Faro on Sunday night.

The Group D encounter is a dead rubber after the Scots exited the competition with a 2-2 draw against Poland at Hampden Park on Thursday night, where afterwards he refused to discuss the topic.

Speaking at the Estadio Algarve stadium, where neither side could train on Saturday due to the rain, he said: “I have always said wait until the end of the campaign and that is on Sunday.

“But don’t expect me to be speaking right after the game.

“Tomorrow we get the game out the way and then sit down and have a look.

“I think there are two or three people I need to speak to make sure everything is clear and then we will take it from there.

“There is not a time limit on it. There is plenty of time and lots to do in the next 24 hours, a training session, and video analysis, speak to the players, so it is a busy time.

“But I have got to say it is an incredible experience, it is a job that makes you so proud.

“I know during the campaign there have been many performances that made the nation happy.

“I don’t think the nation are angry in any way, I think they are disappointed for the group of players who have put so much in.

“It is a wonderful, wonderful thing to make the nation happy, like the (Scotland) rugby this evening – it is a happy nation and group of young men have done that. We hope to make the nation happy quite soon.”

The former Scotland midfielder insists he has recovered from the disappointment of the Poland result.

He said: “I am 58, I have a lot of knocks in my career and you bounce back.

“And I enjoy being with the players, they are a great lot to work with.

“As I said before, not many great players but we have a great squad and if you look at a couple of things throughout the whole campaign, we were a matter of feet away from being in a right good place at the moment, whether the ball hits the bar or there is a deflection, or hits a post.

“I really felt sorry for the players the other day but it is good, they have recovered.

“And I am good. The training session on Friday morning helped. Then we walked round the golf course at Mar Hall with Mark McGhee (assistant) and bumped into real Scottish people and they were so encouraging.

“There was a wedding reception later on and everyone during that period were so helpful and reassuring.

“These people picked us up and hopefully that reverberated around the squad. I am sure it has. ”

Scotland fringe players to get a run out

Leigh Griffiths, James McArthur, James Morrison, Jordan Rhodes and Charlie Mulgrew all missed the trip to Portugal, although the latter was never in serious contention due to a thigh injury.

Strachan said: “James McArthur’s wife is having a baby, don’t know exactly when, so fingers crossed on that one. Jordan Rhodes has a medial ligament problem which he had when he arrived.

“He did his best to train but it would be too far to sit on a plane, he has gone home now but we appreciate he made a right good effort.

“James Morrison was already out. Leigh Griffiths injured himself at half-time kicking the ball about, having shots at goal so that is another chapter to the Leigh Griffiths (story). There is never a dull moment when that man is about. So he has a calf injury.”

In any event, Strachan will give some of his fringe players a run out.

He said: “There have been players with us for a year now who would love to have more playing time but unfortunately for them it has not materialised.

“So we have to try and get them some time and that would have happened no matter who the opposition was because I think these guys need to be rewarded.

“It is hard work not being picked, being away from your family for 10 days to get no tangible reward in terms of playing.”

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