Gordon Strachan glad to have missed out Scotland job before

16 January 2013 08:46

New Scotland manager Gordon Strachan believes the Scottish Football Association did him a favour by overlooking him for the job nine years ago.

The former Coventry, Southampton, Celtic and Middlesbrough boss was confirmed in the post on Tuesday before a lunchtime press conference at Hampden The 55-year-old, who has been out of management since leaving Boro in October 2010, was interviewed for the job in 2004 following the dismissal of Berti Vogts but lost out to rival candidate Walter Smith.

However, he insists that disappointment turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He said: "When I look back on it, I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I went on progress and do other things. All the experiences I have had as a manager have prepared me for this time."

He continued: "I think this is the best time for me. I still felt at that time that working with players and developing players full time was my best (attribute) but if you are asked to come to an interview with Scotland you don't turn it down.

"But it was the best thing that happened, I could go away and learn my job and continue to improve players and squads. Every club you go to there is always challenges but this is the first time the challenge is on behalf of the nation.

"But the rewards to that are that if you can be successful you can make a nation happy and proud. That is the factor for me and I will try and do that, with the help from other people.''

Despite his optimism, a difficult task that awaits the man from Edinburgh who 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 Brazil, 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.

However, Strachan, who will be based in England, refused to throw in the towel, saying: "We will give it a go, that's all you can do.''

He also rebuffed the suggestion that the post was a poisoned chalice, saying: "I think it is a great job. There will be rough times and good times, hopefully there will be more good times than bad.''

Source: PA