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Ahead of World Cup qualifier...

Strachan ‘wants out’ says former Celtic striker

Gordon StrachanGordon Strachan no longer wants to be head coach of the Scotland football team, according to former Celtic striker Chris Sutton.

Ahead of a crucial World Cup qualifier in Slovakia, Sutton has claimed in an interview that Strachan’s body language suggests he “wants out”.

A defeat tonight would in any case heap pressure on the former Manchester United and Aberdeen player who was persuaded to stay on after Scotland’s failure to qualify for the European Championships in France.

Sutton believes the fans are turning against him as the team continues to put in indifferent performances.

“He has been rude, he’s been cantankerous and I just feel he doesn’t want to be there any more and he is showing that in every interview,” Sutton said of Strachan on BBC 5 live.

“That’s his body language and I think he wants out.”

Scotland were booed off at Hampden Park on Saturday after scoring in the final minutes to salvage a valuable point.

The draw denied them a chance to top the group and Sutton thinks that Strachan’s responses to the media are turning the fans and players against him.

“I think his comments in the summer were appalling. He said that Scotland were a nation of scared footballers and I think of the impact that would have had on the players at that time – they would have been totally disgruntled by that.

“I think he’s losing credibility with the fans. I don’t agree that a lot of fans are still on his side.

“Gordon Strachan said Scotland don’t have big stars like Gareth Bale and then the Scottish fans see Iceland, they see Northern Ireland, they see Wales and their performance and think we want a piece of that.”

Sutton also criticised the selection of Fulham’s Chris Martin.

“Here’s the biggest problem – that Gordon Strachan the other night played Chris Martin, a centre forward who hasn’t scored in 20 club games,” he said.

“And you have Steven Fletcher, who has actually started scoring again for Sheffield Wednesday, you have Leigh Griffiths who has scored barrel load of goals and who Gordon, for whatever reason, doesn’t rate and nobody in Scotland other than Gordon understands that.”

However, Strachan receive backing from former Scotland defender and current Hearts manager Steven Pressley.

“I was not party to the decision [to play Martin] ahead of the Lithuania game, but I can understand his reason.

“Lithuania are a team that deny the space to the opposition behind them, meaning that Scotland would be looking to have a link player in the team and that would have been Gordon’s reason, I imagine.”

He questioned those calling for a change of manager.

 

“It is groundhog day. We change the manager and nothing changes,” he said.



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