Scotland: Gordon Strachan to remain national head coach

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Gordon Strachan is staying on as Scotland head coach. Here is a selection of his best bits

Gordon Strachan is to remain as Scotland head coach after the Scottish FA board gave the 59-year-old its "unanimous" backing.

Chief executive Stewart Regan issued a statement after its review of a poor start to their World Cup campaign.

"The board are convinced that he still has the hunger for this challenge and we have four home qualifiers in 2017 to rejuvenate our campaign," he said.

"We support Gordon unanimously in improving our qualification prospects."

There had been speculation about Strachan's position after Friday's 3-0 defeat by England at Wembley.

It left the Scots in fifth place, with only four points from their opening four games in Group F.

The SFA explained that Strachan had provided his feedback on the campaign and his views on the team's prospects in 2017 to the eight-strong board.

"The board have considered the team's performance since the start of the campaign and subsequently discussed the disappointing points total after four matches," said Regan.

"Gordon shared the disappointment of the board and, of course, the fans.

Scotland are left disappointed at Wembley
Scotland are fifth in Group F after their 3-0 defeat by England

"He is adamant, however, that we can recover the position and believes a play-off place still to be attainable."

Only the nine group winners are guaranteed a place at the 2018 finals in Russia and the Scots trail section leaders England by six points.

However, the eight best-placed runners-up will have a second chance via play-offs and Strachan stressed his belief in the players and their ability to qualify.

"We were all extremely disappointed with the result on Friday night," he said.

"But, having reflected on our performance, I still believe we can get ourselves back into contention in the group.

"There are still 18 points to play for and the players, the staff and I, as in previous games, will give everything we have to turn things around.

"I have said consistently that our fans deserve success and a return to a major tournament finals.

"Although we have had a difficult start to the campaign, I firmly believe that this group of players, together with our supporters, can maximise our chances of a play-off place, starting with the home match against Slovenia in March."

Strachan's assistant, Motherwell manager Mark McGhee, earlier gave an impassioned defence of the management team's performance, stating that their excellent start at Wembley convinced him they could revive the campaign next year.

"We have not had one of those big results and performances yet," he admitted. "But that's what we are working towards.

"We were close to it at Wembley in some ways and that's what we will take into the next game - that we want that big performance.

"I feel if we go into that game and it was to be abject then there are clearly questions that need to be asked.

"But I feel so far that Gordon has done just about as well as we could be expected to do."

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