FORMER Scotland striker Kris Boyd believes Gordon Strachan should stay on as national manager, despite increasing calls for him to be replaced.
Boyd admits the Scots now have no chance of finishing top of World Cup qualifying Group F after Friday night’s bitterly disappointing 3-0 defeat to England left them languishing in fifth place.
However, the Kilmarnock marksman, who played under Strachan for Middlesbrough and was recalled to the international set-up by the Scotland boss after a three-year absence in 2013, insists there still remains a realistic hope of clinching second behind the Auld Enemy.
And the 33-year-old, who won the last of his 18 caps six years ago, reckons Strachan remains the best candidate for the job.
He said: “For me, he should stay. He is hurting, there is no doubt about it, [the] same as everybody else.
“Is there anybody better out there? No, I don’t think there is.
“I just think there is an opportunity round the corner. Four of the next six qualifying games are at home, which is massive. We have got quite a decent record at home.
“We know the results have not been good enough, but we have been to Wembley now, it is out of the way.
“We have got home games against Slovenia, Malta and Slovakia. We have Slovenia home and away and, if we got four points from those games, we are back in the group because we are only four points behind and the rest of the teams still have to play England as well.
“With six games left and four of them at home, I don’t think the campaign is finished. I think it is finished to win the group, but I don’t think it is finished to be runners-up.”
Scotland now have home clashes with Slovenia in March and England in June, and then the trip to face Lithuania at the start of next season before home encounters with Malta and Slovakia and the concluding fixture away to Slovenia in October next year.
Heavy defeats to Slovakia and England and the home draw with Lithuania have left a cloud hanging over the Tartan Army and led to calls for Strachan’s head.
But Boyd believes the players’ attitude tells a different story.
Speaking to BBC 5 Live, the ex-Rangers forward added: “You can always tell – the players turn up for an international gathering with a smile on their faces, they want to be there.
”I have not spoken to one player who has a bad word to say about Gordon or his training. Everyone loves going to be a part of the Scotland set-up.”