BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Peter Houston is keeping his fingers crossed that Gordon Strachan hands the Tartan Army – himself included – a massive boost by deciding to remain as Scotland manager.
Houston, formerly assistant to Craig Levein with the national team, is convinced Strachan is the man to lead the nation, despite the heartbreaking failure to qualify for Euro 2016.
And he insists another change in the Hampden dugout would be wrong for the international side as they bid to end two decades of hurt by progressing to the World Cup in 2018.
The Falkirk boss said: “Without a doubt I want Gordon to stay on and I think the large majority of the supporters want him to stay.
“I saw a poll that said that something like 81 per cent want him to stay and I don’t disagree with that at all.
“There have been good highs at the start of the campaign and disappointments in the last few results, and I can understand it’s a disappointment for everybody.
“But Gordon’s done well since he’s come in and the players have shown that, especially in the first period of the campaign when they put in some good, credible performances and got some good, credible results.
“I see people also saying they like the style of play.
“I’m all for Gordon staying, because I think he’s been good. He’s an experienced guy who, I think, will want a shot at the World Cup.
“If that doesn’t happen I’m sure Gordon’s the type of person who will know himself it’s not working out.
“But to change again, the whole system, with a new manager and maybe a new philosophy, would be silly.
“Gordon’s the right man and I, as a Scotland supporter, hope he stays on.”
Houston knows from his time with Levein’s Scotland how tough it can be to enjoy success in qualification campaigns and fears the draw for the 2018 World Cup has been unkind to the national team.
However, he is hopeful Strachan accepts the challenge.
He added: “Scotland’s group is going to be difficult, first and foremost because England are in it, because they are probably a class above us at this particular time, if we’re being honest.
“Who knows what could happen? But it’s going to be tough.
“But, if Gordon’s up for it, I’m all for Gordon going ahead and trying to do it, because I think he’s a good manager – he’s good tactically, he’s a good coach and the players are buying into what he’s doing.”