Strachan to be new Scotland coach

By Chris McLaughlin Senior Football Reporter, BBC Scotland Gordon Strachan has agreed to become the new manager of Scotland, BBC Scotland has learned.

The former Celtic and Middlesbrough boss could be confirmed by the Scottish Football Association as early as Tuesday afternoon.

His predecessor in the post, Craig Levein, was sacked in November following a run of poor results.

Capped 50 times, Strachan featured in Scotland’s 1982 and 1986 World Cup finals campaigns.

The 55-year-old has been out of management since leaving Boro in October 2010.

After playing spells at Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, the winger moved into management with the Sky Blues in November 1996.

Began playing career at Dundee before joining Aberdeen in 1977 Won two Premier Division titles, three Scottish Cups, European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup with the Dons Joined Manchester United in 1984, winning FA Cup the following year Enjoyed six-year spell at Leeds, contributing to promotion and top flight title victory Ended playing career at Coventry and moved into management with same club, having almost five years in the job Reached FA Cup final during three years as Southampton boss Won three SPL titles and made two Champions League last 16 appearances as Celtic manager after joining in 2005 Spent year in charge of Middlesbrough After keeping Coventry in the Premier League for several seasons, they suffered relegation at the end of season 2000-01 and Strachan departed a few games into the following season.

He returned to the dugout when Southampton brought him in to replace Stuart Gray and the appointment helped Saints stave off relegation before they reached the FA Cup final in 2003.

But Strachan left the club the following year and took a break from football.

His move to Celtic in June 2005 followed Martin O’Neill’s decision to leave Glasgow.

Strachan recovered from a 5-0 Champions League qualifying defeat by Artmedia Bratislava in his opening match – a tie that finished 5-4 on aggregate – to win the Scottish Premier League title three years in succession.

He also led the side to two appearances in the last 16 of the Champions League, the club having never reached the knock-out stages prior to Strachan’s arrival.

However, Rangers won the SPL in 2009 and Strachan left Glasgow shortly after.

A year in charge of Boro followed but, after missing out on promotion in 2010, a poor start to the season led to Strachan leaving the club by mutual consent.

Levein’s three-year spell in charge of Scotland came to an end after a poor start to the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Having missed out on qualification to Euro 2012, the Scots began their pursuit of a place in next year’s finals in Brazil with successive home draws against Serbia and Macedonia.

Scotland then lost from a winning position in Wales before defeat in Belgium consigned Levein’s side to the bottom of their group.

After Levein was sacked, Scotland Under-21 coach Billy Stark was placed in caretaker charge of the senior team for the friendly win in Luxembourg.

Strachan’s first match in charge will be the February friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie Stadium, the venue where he enjoyed success as an Aberdeen player.

And former Scotland player Pat Nevin believes Strachan has a tough job on his hands.

“You need a big personality to come in and do that job,” Nevin told BBC Radio 5live.

“He’s proven, he’s Scottish and available which is helpful and he’s accepted by the Tartan Army, but he has a massive job to do and it starts right away.

“The reason why they had to get him in very, very quickly is because Scotland have to come in third in the current group, because if he gets us to third place then their position in the next group of pots when the draw is made for the Euros is much better, so thank goodness he is in and he has to make a difference.”

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