Scottish football: Gordon Strachan said he had fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he was unveiled as the new Scotland manager today.
“It is probably 40 years in the making to get here. It is a job that I wanted to do and for a Scotsman, this is a fantastic thing,” said the former Coventry, Southampton, Celtic and Middlesbrough boss as he was confirmed in the post by the Scottish Football Association before a lunchtime press conference at Hampden.
Strachan has been out of management since October 2010 when he left Boro, but has now signed a contract that will take him through to the 2016 European Championship qualifiers.
“I am very proud of myself but my family, my wife, mother, grand children, children and my friends are very proud so it shows you how important the Scotland job is,” added Strachan, who started his career as a teenager at Dundee and also played for Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, earning him 50 caps for Scotland over the course of his career.
“When I was a kid I wanted to play for Scotland and I did that. Then I started coaching and I thought: ‘I want to be the Scotland manager some day,’ so I have achieved that with the help of a lot of people and players.
“It is going to be difficult, every job is difficult. The Coventry job is difficult, Southampton, Middlesbrough, they are all difficult.”
Strachan will take charge of his first match against Estonia in a friendly at Pittodrie on February 6.
Scotland then face Wales and Serbia in a World Cup 2014 qualification double-header in March.
Hopes of qualifying for the Brazil 2014, though, are all but over after taking just two points from their first four Group A games under former boss Craig Levein, who departed in November.