Strachan blames 'genetics' for diminutive Scotland's qualifying exit

Strachan endured some nervy moments against Slovakia at Hampden Park

We have dug out eight of the best reactions to Strachan's explanation.

Scotland took the lead half an hour into the match but in the second period two Slovenia goals put Scotland in a hard position.

"The players, staff, fans, family - you want to make sure they're alright".

Slovakia did what they needed to do at home to Malta, while keeping one eye on events in Slovenia, where Roman Bezjak and Jan Oblack combined to halt Scotland's surge and indirectly propel Martin Skrtel and Co to second position in the pool.

"We're hurting but not as much as them [the players]".

There shouldn't be any talk about what I'm thinking or what I'm doing at this moment in time. Not a problem about me.

Should Gordon Strachan stay on as manager of Scotland? After four points from a possible 12 in the first four games, his revitalised side finished with 14 from the last 18 and six games unbeaten.


Northern Ireland, who qualified for the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1986 when they reached Euro 2016, slipped up in Oslo after Chris Brunt's second-half own goal handed Norway victory, but they remain on course for Russian Federation 2018.

Strachan remained coy on his future, although received support from Celtic striker Griffiths, who expressed hope that the former Coventry, Southampton and Middlesbrough manager would lead Scotland's European Championship qualification campaign.

The Scots lost two goals to poor defending from set pieces after having kept three clean sheets in their previous three games.

"Genetically, we're behind", said Strachan. But we took the lead.

"They gave it a right good shot and left nothing in the dressing room. We can't change genetics". Genetically we have to work at things, maybe we get big women and men together and see what we can do. Nobody tell me their technique apart from one player is better than any of ours but physically we have a problem. We seem to be able to battle it and get through just with sheer determination and skill and work-rate.

"Away from home you're going to have to take a bit of pressure and counter; it's a great finish by Leigh (Griffiths)". I am proud, really proud, to be their manager.

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