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Strachan to stay on as Scotland boss

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan

Strachan has won three of his last nine competitive matches

Gordon Strachan is to carry on as Scotland manager following a poor start to the World Cup qualifying campaign, BBC Scotland has learned.

The 59-year-old was considering his future following Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat in Slovakia.

But the former Celtic and Middlesbrough boss has decided to remain for the next game against England, at least.

Scotland visit Wembley on 11 November, trailing the group leaders by three points after three games.

Strachan signed a two-year deal in the summer after failing to lead the national side to Euro 2016.

He succeeded Craig Levein in January 2013 and has been in charge for 32 games, with a 47% win record.

In 19 competitive matches, Strachan has won eight but a run of only three victories – against Gibraltar, twice, and Malta – in the past nine has put his position under increased scrutiny.

Assistant manager Mark McGhee told BBC Scotland on Thursday morning that he had not spoken to Strachan since returning from Slovakia but remains upbeat on the prospect of reaching a first major tournament since 1998.

“I still think we have a great chance of qualification,” said the Motherwell boss.

“Obviously results have to improve but I think there is the potential for that to happen.”

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Scots’ form can change – Strachan

Strachan said he was “not sitting here thinking about myself” in his post-match interview on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper David Marshall said nobody in the Scotland squad wanted Strachan to leave, while midfielder Barry Bannan said: “It’s our fault, we’re the ones who are out there losing games.”

Fellow managers have backed Strachan, with Rangers’ Mark Warburton describing the ex-Celtic, Southampton and Middlesbrough manager as “very experienced”, while Hamilton boss and fellow Scot Mark Canning said the country must “stick together” and “get behind” the national side.

Ex-Scotland midfielder and Celtic assistant coach John Collins said: “I certainly hope Gordon stays on. The SFA appointed Gordon, they gave him a contract and the race isn’t finished at the halfway stage. Things can turn around quickly in football.”

What the media have said

Tom English, BBC Scotland:

“There was no fight, no aggression in the first half or much belief. It was a shambolic performance and I would put that squarely at the door of the manager. I think his time is up.”

Scottish Daily Mail chief football writer Stephen McGowan:

“Gordon Strachan is a decent man and there are deep systemic problems in Scottish football, but should this Scotland national team be performing better than it is right now? Yes it should.”

Michael Grant, Times chief football writer, Scotland:

“I think he should get the Wembley game and if something positive comes out of it then you reassess it. But that might be a natural end – and it felt a bit like that after the Slovakia game.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37644335