GLASGOW: Gordon Strachan has stepped down as manager of Scotland after their failure to qualify even for the playoffs of the 2018 World Cup.

A 2-2 draw in Slovenia on Sunday was not enough for the Scots to reach the play-offs and the Scottish FA has confirmed Strachan’s contract will not be renewed. He left his post with immediate effect. along with assistant Mark McGhee.

A new boss will be in place for next season’s UEFA Nations League campaign and subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said, after a board meeting: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Gordon for his excellent service to the national team. I know how disappointed he was that we couldn’t secure a play-off place but to come so close was a tribute to the belief he instilled in his squad.

“After almost five years the Board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming UEFA Nations League.

“We are grateful to both Gordon and Mark for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Strachan took charge in January 2013 but failed to end Scotland’s tournament finals drought, one which stretches back to the 1998 World Cup.

He said: “I said on my first day as Scotland manager that it was the proudest moment of my career and that I wanted to put a smile back on the nation’s face again. I share the profound disappointment at missing out on the play-offs, especially having worked so hard to fight our way back into contention.

“The players should receive immense credit for that resilience in coming back from a difficult start and I would like to thank each and every player who has come in to represent their country.

“Together we have shared some really magical moments and those memories will live with me for ever.

“Of course, what made those moments special was the unwavering support of our fans. Through highs and lows you have stayed with the team and my biggest regret is not being able to provide the finals tournament you deserve.

“I would like to thank the board, the backroom staff and everyone at the Scottish FA for the help and support they have given me as national coach. It has been a real privilege.”