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Football | Europe

Malky Mackay © Getty Images

Mackay hired as Scotland interim boss



Malky Mackay has been appointed as Scotland's interim manager as the search for Gordon Strachan's successor starts after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Mackay was working as the Scottish Football Association's performance director and, following Strachan's exit on Thursday, he will now oversee the friendly against the Netherlands at Pittodrie on November 9.

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 would have sealed a World Cup play-off berth with a victory in Slovakia last weekend, but they were held to a 2-2 draw despite taking the lead.

The result ended Scotland's hopes of reaching next year's tournament in Russia and left them without a World Cup 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.

"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 bookmakers' favourites to succeed Strachan and Regan admitted having a Scot as boss wasn't essential.

Scotland previously had German Berti Vogts as their coach between 2002 and 2004.

"I think 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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