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Strachan: 2014 World Cup Not Beyond Scotland

  • Guardian, Wednesday, January 16, 2013 12:16 PM

Newly appointed Scotland coach Gordan Strachan refused to write off the World Cup qualifying campaign he inherited from Craig Levein which currently sees Scotland at the bottom of Group A with two points from four games. The former Celtic and Middlesbrough manager was appointed head coach of Scotland this week, as many had been expecting, in a contract that runs through Euro 2016 in France. Scotland has not qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, which was also in France.

In an interview with The Guardian on Wednesday, Strachan said finishing in the top two in Group A is not impossible. “My philosophy is to win games of football, like Manchester United,” the former Manchester United player said. “We still have to collect as many points as we can and it's disrespectful to say we'll use the games just to improve. We'll give it a go.” His first test at the helm is a friendly against Estonia on Feb 6, followed by a World Cup qualifying double-header against Wales and Serbia in March.

Strachan, who has not coached since leaving Middlesbrough in October 2010, said the new role is the realization of a long-held ambition. "I am very proud of myself but my family, my wife, mother, grandchildren, children and my friends are very proud so it shows you how important the Scotland job is," he said. "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.”

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