Strachan's message to Tartan Army: This is the Don of a new era

SCOTLAND begin a new chapter in their turbulent history at Aberdeen tonight when Gordon Strachan takes charge for the first time.

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Strachan is happy with his managerial record
Strachan is happy with his managerial record

But the new boss insists that when the whistle goes for the friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie, no-one should be considered to be on trial.

Not any of the players – nor the man who has taken over from Craig Levein.

The 55-year-old believes everyone already knows what he and his players have to offer, and he wants any apprehension to be swept away by positivity.

The new manager, who has picked Celtic skipper Scott Brown as captain for the friendly, has tried to calm the nerves by insisting: "I can see good players, and good men in training.

"In saying that, different people come alive on the football pitch, and if somebody surprises me, then that's terrific. There are some, like Mattie Philips, who I tried to go and see play for Blackpool.

"I don't think I have seen the best of him yet because he has been coming back from injury.

"Robert Snodgrass is another I didn't know too much about.

"But I watched him play for Norwich at Liverpool, and he was possibly their best player in a 5-0 defeat, so that was good to see."

Strachan will assure all of the men picked tonight that this is not do-or-die for anyone.

But he acknowledges the importance of a positive performance to herald the change of guard.

And he is aware all eyes will be on him to see how he makes the transition from club football to the national arena.

Strachan does not, however, feel he is on trial because he has been out of the game for two years, and said: "It doesn't bother me. My career is of no consequence to me.

"Funnily enough, my wife said to me 'It didn't finish too well at Middlesbrough for you'.

"Well, I'm quite happy with my management career. In my first job, I was asked to keep Coventry up, and I did that, first as player coach then as manager.

"I went to Southampton, when they were second bottom of the league and was asked if I could keep them up.

"I did that, and took them to a cup final and into Europe.

"I went to Celtic and was asked if I could win some more trophies for them. I did that.

"At Middlesbrough, it didn't work out. But, I am quite happy with life.

"So, I don't have to prove myself to anybody. I am here to help players I have a good life, and I'll still have a good life when I come back out of this.

"I don't feel any compulsion to prove myself."

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