Scotland should "move heaven and earth" to keep Gordon Strachan, according to former international Pat Nevin.
The manager is nearing the end of his contract as a failed campaign to reach Euro 2016 draws to a close.
The 58-year-old would not be drawn on his future after a painful draw with Poland ended Scotland's chances of reaching the play-offs.
But Nevin told BBC Scotland: "I'd be very impressed if you can come up with a better name that we could get."
A stoppage-time leveller from Robert Lewandowski, combined with Republic of Ireland's win over world champions Germany, leaves Scotland going into Sunday's final Group D match away to Gibraltar with nothing to play for.
And it means Scotland have now missed out on nine major tournaments in a row.
"It takes a little while to turn round what was a very difficult time for Scotland," added Nevin, capped 28 times between 1986 and 1996.
"I think Gordon has been great. He has maximised the potential from that group of players - most of the time - and you can't ask for more than that."
Like many of the Tartan Army, Nevin was left scratching his head at the way Scotland's hopes were dashed on Thursday night.
However, the former Chelsea winger points to the damaging loss away to Georgia last month, with Germany, Poland and Ireland all having left Tbilisi with maximum points.
"The way we managed to get these complicated, scarcely believable ways of failing to qualify would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad for all of us," he said.
"We've played Poland twice and got two draws. They are a good team. Against Ireland, we got a win and a draw. They're getting to a play-off at least. We're not.
"We stood toe-to-toe with Germany and didn't look out of place. We lost both of those, fair enough. We had one bad game, away to Georgia, and we're out.
"I thought it was a really good campaign. The players worked really hard, fought really hard and against Poland I thought they were quite heroic.
|BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont:|
|"Intuitively, it feels like there has been an improvement in the team's ability to keep the ball under pressure and to counter-attack effectively.|
|"But results have not dramatically improved. Scotland were drawn into Group D as fourth seeds and will finish fourth."|
England and Northern Ireland will be in France next summer and Wales need just one point from their remaining two fixtures to join them.
"If we'd been drawn in some of the other groups, I don't think we'd have had anything like the trouble that we've had," continued Nevin.
"It was a toss-up between us and Ireland but they got some excellent, unexpected, almost once-in-a-lifetime results against Germany."
Strachan has been in charge since 2013 and chief executive Stewart Regan has indicated that the Scottish Football Association are happy to see the former Celtic and Southampton boss continue.
"When it hurts so much, you will tend to paint a bleak picture," added Nevin, "Maybe the most concerning thing is not where we are now but where we're going. That's a worry because I'm not sure we have much great quality coming through."