Gordon Strachan: Scotland boss signs new two-year contract

Gordon Strachan speaks to his Scotland players
Gordon Strachan has been in charge since January 2013

Gordon Strachan will continue as Scotland manager, with the 58-year-old signing a two-year contract extension.

He will lead them in the World Cup 2018 qualifiers having been heartened by the support he received from Tartan Army fans.

Strachan, who succeeded Craig Levein in January 2013, said: "It is an honour and a privilege to manage my country.

"And, in a way, that has made the disappointment of not qualifying for Euro 2016 all the more profound."

Scotland finished fourth in their qualifying group and miss out on next year's finals in France.

BBC Scotland's Chris McLaughlin
Gordon Strachan says his new two-year deal is down to the goodwill of the fans, but the hard work starts now in a bid to reward them for their loyalty. The group of players he has to work with clearly respect him and it's the same group he will have to rely on as he goes again - there is very little coming through. Success, of course, would be guiding Scotland to the World Cup in 2018. If he ends a nation's footballing hurt at the 10th time of asking, everything that has come before will be forgotten and forgiven.

"Nonetheless, the reaction from the supporters throughout the campaign, and in particular from those who travelled to Faro in their thousands, is an experience that will live with me for the rest of my life," Strachan said in a statement.

"It was a recognition that the players' efforts had been appreciated.

"That appreciation and goodwill has also been apparent in the messages of support I have received this week, from emails and letters to chats in the street."

Newly appointed Motherwell manager Mark McGhee will continue as Strachan's assistant, with former Rangers manager Stuart McCall as coach.

"I want the best for our country and for those players and I believe we can make Scotland proud in the upcoming qualifiers," said Strachan, who won 50 caps as a player.

"For that reason, I am delighted to have been asked to continue in my role and I look forward to working with my backroom staff and the players to improve on the previous campaign and look forward to the World Cup qualifiers with optimism."

Stats of recent Scotland managers
Strachan's record in competitive matches compared to his five predecessors

Strachan's previous contract was set to expire in November and SFA chief executive Stewart Regan was delighted that the former Coventry City, Southampton, Celtic and Middlesbrough boss would try to lead the national side to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with England in their qualifying group.

"The board of the Scottish FA has been consistent in our belief that Gordon should continue the good work that has been apparent in many performances and results throughout the previous campaign," he said.

"Similarly, the supporters and the players have been overwhelming in their view that Gordon is the national coach to lead us into the World Cup qualifying campaign.

"The mutual respect and stability that exists is essential to our future success and we all look forward to planning for Russia 2018."

Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia are also Group F, with the Scots' first game away to the Maltese on 4 September 2016.

Scotland have not reached a major tournament finals since Craig Brown's side went to the France 1998 World Cup.

Berti Vogts, Walter Smith, Alex McLeish, George Burley and Craig Levein followed Brown in the role before Strachan was appointed.

McGhee added: "I have total admiration for the job that Gordon has done. I've seen it close up.

"I think he's done a fantastic job and I think people should be pleased he's staying on because we've invested a lot of time, two and a half years, into being the coaching team of the national team and just to throw that out now would be a shame because he has learned a lot, we have developed as a coaching team, as a football team and a squad and I think it would be a shame to go back to square one now."