Proud Strachan dismisses questions over Scotland future

Gordon Strachan said Scotland's World Cup qualification hopes were still alive despite a 3-0 defeat to Slovakia.

Gordon Strachan insisted he was not thinking about his own future after Scotland slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Slovakia in World Cup qualification Group F.

A Robert Mak double and a header from Adam Nemec gave Slovakia their first three points of the campaign, and increased the pressure on Strachan. 

Despite a lacklustre performance, the former Celtic boss said he could not fault his players and claimed to have been "proud" of their efforts.

Scotland lie fourth in the pool ahead of a clash with England at Wembley next month.

"At this moment in time, the people I feel sorry for are the players," said Strachan, as reported by BBC Sport.

"They have put so much work into the last two games. As a group, I'm really proud of them.

"The second group you feel sorry for are the supporters who have come here tonight.

"I'm not thinking about myself.

"Every time I get together with these guys, they rejuvenate me. We've given it our best shot in terms of trying to pick the best side.

"I don't think you could do more in terms of effort. Okay, decision making could be better but I'm happy with the response from the lads every time."

Strachan felt Slovakia's physical advantage gave them the edge in what had been a tight encounter until Mak's second goal in the second half. 

"The second goal made a big difference," said Strachan.

"They went from being a bit laborious to strong. Then you see the size of them and they get a goal from a set-piece."

He refused to rule out Scotland bouncing back from the defeat and challenging for World Cup qualification, however.

"We'd like to be better off but we are one point off a play-off place and I've said before that it's a crazy group.

"Form can change in a couple of weeks and this campaign is over a year."