Scotland: Malky Mackay takes interim charge for Netherlands friendly

Malky Mackay
Malky Mackay won five Scotland caps as a player in 2004

Scottish FA performance director Malky Mackay is to take interim charge of the Scotland team, following Gordon Strachan's departure on Thursday.

The former Watford, Cardiff and Wigan manager, 45, will combine both jobs and take the team for the 9 November friendly with Netherlands at Pittodrie.

Strachan's time as Scotland manager ended by "mutual consent" after missing out on a World Cup play-off place.

Strachan, 60, had been in charge of the national side since January 2013.

Former Scotland defender Mackay, who also played for Celtic and Norwich, was appointed to his current role in December last year, succeeding Brian McClair.

Mackay was the subject of an English FA investigation in 2014 concerning text messages he had sent containing discriminatory language.

However, Mackay later apologised and underwent equality and diversity training, with his move to the SFA then backed by anti-racism groups.

On announcing Mackay's interim appointment and the upcoming friendly, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said it was "too premature to discuss" Strachan's long-term successor.

"Recruitment phase begins next week," he said. "It's difficult to put a timescale on replacement.

Stewart Regan
Regan says the SFA will "cast our net far and wide"

"We believe we will be able to compete to get the best person for this job.

"We are determined to have the right coach in place to lead Scotland to the European Championship in 2020.

"I think nationality is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Whoever is the best candidate can throw their hat in the ring and, if they are the best candidate, we'll select them for the job.

"We are looking for the best person for this opportunity and we will cast the net as far and wide as we have to.

"Ultimately we are in a result business. We had a manager in place for five years coming up. He'd had two campaigns. When the board met to discuss Gordon's position after the defeats to England and Slovakia [in 2016], we backed the manager, but we backed the manager on the proviso that we made the [World Cup] play-offs.

"We didn't reach the play-offs and we felt it was time for a new coach to give us a new impetus with emerging talent coming through the Scottish game and give us a real chance to make Euro 2020."

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