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Gordon Strachan steps down as Scotland manager

Strachan steps down as Scotland manager
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Gordon Strachan steps down as Scotland manager by mutual consent following the team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Gordon Strachan has resigned from his role as Scotland manager following the team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Scotland finished third in Group F of the qualifying campaign behind England and Slovakia, missing out on a playoff spot having only managed a 2-2 draw in Slovenia on the final matchday.

Scotland picked up just one win from their first four qualifying matches but went through the remainder of the campaign unbeaten and would have clinched a playoff spot had they beaten Slovenia on Sunday.

Strachan took over as Scotland boss in January 2013 but was unable to steer the team to either Euro 2016 or next summer's World Cup during his time at the helm.

"I said on my first day as Scotland manager that it was the proudest moment of my career and that I wanted to put a smile back on the nation's face again. I share the profound disappointment at missing out on the playoffs, especially having worked so hard to fight our way back into contention," Strachan said in a statement on the SFA's official website.

"The players should receive immense credit for that resilience in coming back from a difficult start and I would like to thank each and every player who has come in to represent their country. Together we have shared some really magical moments and those memories will live with me for ever.

"Of course, what made those moments special was the unwavering support of our fans. Through highs and lows you have stayed with the team and my biggest regret is not being able to provide the finals tournament you deserve. I would like to thank the board, the backroom staff and everyone at the Scottish FA for the help and support they have given me as national coach. It has been a real privilege."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan added: "On behalf of the board I would like to thank Gordon for his excellent service to the national team. I know how disappointed he was that we couldn't secure a playoff place but to come so close was a tribute to the belief he instilled in his squad.

"After almost five years the board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming UEFA Nations League. We are grateful to both Gordon and Mark for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in the future."

Strachan's assistant manager Mark McGhee has also stepped down from his role.

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Scotland manager Gordon Strachan on the touchline during his side's World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley on November 11, 2016
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