Malky Mackay named Scotland caretaker coach
Malky Mackay has been appointed as Scotland manager on an interim basis as the search for Gordon Strachan's successor gets underway.
Malky Mackay has been appointed as Scotland's caretaker manager as the search for a permanent successor to Gordon Strachan gets underway following the team's failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals.
Mackay to oversee next month's friendly against Holland
Mackay was working as the Scottish Football Association's performance director and, following Strachan's departure, he will be in charge for the friendly against Holland at Pittodrie on 9 November. SFA chief executive Stewart Regan made the announcement on Friday, speaking at a press conference in which he admitted it was time for a change after Strachan's disappointing reign.
Scotland's 20 years of hurt
Scotland would have sealed a 2018 World Cup Play-Off berth with a victory over Slovakia at the weekend, but they were held to a 2-2 draw. The result ended Scotland's hopes of reaching next year's tournament in Russia and left them without a World Cup finals appearance since 1998.
“Ultimately we are in a result business. We had a manager in place for five years coming up. He'd had two campaigns”, Regan said. “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. Seeing as we didn't reach the play-offs 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”.
Mackay was a controversial appointment as performance director in December last year after being the subject of an 11-month probe into a series of inappropriate text messages during his time as Cardiff City boss. Regan refused to be drawn on whether Mackay would be a candidate for the permanent manager's role.
“Malky's the performance director”, he said. “He has got a big job to do and a number of challenges that he is working on at the moment”.
Sam Allardyce, axed by England after just one match in charge last season, is among the favourites to succeed Strachan and Regan admitted having a Scottish coach as national team boss wasn't essential. Scotland previously had German Berti Vogts as their coach between 2002 and 2004. “[The coach’s] nationality is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Whoever is the best candidate can throw their hat in the ring and, if they are the best candidate, we'll select them for the job”, Regan said.
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