London – Gordon Strachan said his appointment as the new manager of Scotland had been “40 years in the making” after he was given the task of reviving the country's football fortunes on Tuesday.
Strachan, a former Scotland midfielder, had long been the favourite to replace Craig Levein, who was sacked in November after a poor start to a World Cup qualifying campaign left Scotland's hopes of playing at Brazil 2014 in tatters.
“I am very very proud in myself and my family are proud I've become Scotland manager,” Strachan, whose appointment was confirmed by the Scottish Football Association at their Hampden Park headquarters in Glasgow, told Sky Sports.
“It's a great day for me to do this and it's been 40 years in the making,” added Strachan, whose contract runs until Euro 2016.
“There'll be rough times but I know there'll be good times, too,” insisted former Celtic manager Strachan, who won 50 caps and played under Alex Ferguson at both Aberdeen and Manchester United.
Scotland have not featured at the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France and Strachan, who had four successful years as Celtic boss from 2005 to 2009, said he was determined to make fans proud of the national side again.
“Every club you go to there's always challenges but this is the first time the challenges are in front of a nation,” he added.
“If you can be successful you can make a nation happy and make a nation proud and that is the priority for me to be able to do that with help from other people.”
Strachan, who has been out of a manager's job since leaving English club Middlesbrough in 2010, said the time was right for him to move into an international role.
“You're always interested as long as someone asks you But I think that time is right now because I've had that European experience,” the 55-year-old said.
“I've had to deal with players and I've also had a couple of years where I can look at national football.
“The time is right for me to be able to take a job like this. I have the experience, I like working with people, I like dealing with people and I like trying to make people better.”
Strachan's first game in charge of Scotland will be a friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie on February 6, before two World Cup qualifiers in March.
Scotland host Wales at Hampden on March 22 and are away to Serbia four days later.– Sapa-AFP