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Scotland look to new generation on the pitch as SFA begins hunt for new boss

UK & international sports | Published:

Malky Mackay will take charge of Scotland for the November friendly with Holland.

Malky Mackay will take charge of Scotland's next fixture

Stewart Regan revealed the Scottish Football Association was looking for a new manager who can give youth a chance after deciding that Gordon Strachan’s time was up.

Malky Mackay, the SFA’s performance director, has been placed in interim charge of Scotland for a friendly against Holland at Pittodrie on November 9.

The SFA will firm up recruitment plans next week but chief executive Regan will lead the panel and he insisted nationality and finance were no barriers.

The SFA board decided on Thursday to end Strachan’s reign after a 2-2 draw in Slovenia saw Scotland miss out on the World Cup play-offs. The board had unanimously supported Strachan less than a year ago after he took four points from four matches, but an unbeaten run in 2017 failed to keep him in a job.

Regan said: “Ultimately we are in a result business. We had a manager in place for five years coming up. He’d had two campaigns. When the board met to discuss Gordon’s position after the defeats to England and Slovakia, we backed the manager, but we backed the manager on the proviso that we made the play-offs.

“We didn’t reach the play-offs, we had had a second unsuccessful campaign, and we felt it was time for a new coach to give us a new impetus with emerging talent coming through the Scottish game and give us a real chance to make Euro 2020.

“It’s about bringing in a new coach with new ideas, new initiatives, a coach who can actually bring forward emerging talent within the Scottish game, and try and actually take us to a major championship.”

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Regan said Strachan had not signalled whether he wanted to continue during a lengthy meeting on Monday.

“Gordon was very keen for the board to set out what we would like him to do next,” he said. “It was more about the board having the chance to discuss the campaign and decide what we wanted to do, and I shared that with him.”

Mackay was a controversial appointment as performance director in December last year after being the subject of an 11-month Football Association probe into a series of text messages sent during his time as Cardiff manager. He was never charged with an offence by the FA.

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And Regan gave little away on whether Mackay would be involved in the recruitment process or a candidate himself.

Regan said: “We haven’t discussed anything further as far as the recruitment campaign is concerned. Malky’s the performance director. He has got a big job to do and a number of challenges that he is working on at the moment.

“To be fair to Malky he has responded to the board’s request. We asked him to take the team in Aberdeen and he was delighted to do so. As far as Malky is concerned, he will then focus on his performance responsibilities.”

Regan, who will lead the recruitment campaign with as-yet-unspecified SFA board colleagues, insisted there would be no constraints on choosing candidates.

“The opportunity will be open to candidates right across the world,” he said. “We are looking for the best person for this opportunity and we will cast the net as far and wide as we have to. Nationality is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned.”

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