Gordan Strachan has been confirmed as manager of Scotland, replacing Craig Levein who was sacked last November after a string of poor results leaving them with only two points from four games in their World Cup qualifying group.
Speaking at his unveiling Strachan said he is “very, very proud” to be appointed as his national team manager and acknowledged the huge importance of the Tartan Army supporters in the country’s football saying, “the fans are probably more famous than the squad now, the fans are famed all over the world.”
“What we want to try and do is give back something of the excitement we get from football to the fans and have them turn up at a major finals competition.”
The former Celtic and Middlesborough boss acknowledged though that their fame has been overshadowed recently by the arrival of Ireland at Euro 2012 and says he hopes that the two sets of supporters can join up at a tournament in the near future.
“Through my TV work I’ve been to these competitions and the Irish have kind of stepped in for us for a while so hopefully the Irish and the Scots can get together at one major, and it’ll be one hell of a party.”
Speaking of the pressures of an international role, Strachan said that he was under no illusions about the task ahead and the scrutiny that goes with it.
“It’s forty years in the making to get to here, I know there’ll be rough times but I’m hopeful there’s going to be good times as well.
“Every club you go to there’s always a challenge but this is the first time the challenge has been on behalf of a nation. If you can be successful and make a nation happy, and make a nation proud. That is the factor for me.”
Though he has been out of work since parting with Middlesborough in October 2011, he says that the time is right for him to take over at Hampden Park.
“The time is right because I’ve had that European experience as well, I’ve also had a couple of years to look at international football.”
Expectations are low in Scotland following a frustrating run under Levein but Strachan says he knows what he wants to achieve.
“To progress with this squad, I really want the staff and the squad and the fans to give something back to the country.”
SportsNewsIreland.com fact: Strachan won 122 of his 186 matches in charge at Celtic