Scotland defender Andy Robertson believes Gordon Strachan will still lead the nation back to the big time despite the Dark Blues’ Euro 2016 failure.
Strachan has remained coy over his future following his failure to end the nation’s 18-year wait for tournament action.
With his contract now up, the Hampden boss will hold talks with Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan before deciding his next move.
But former Dundee United star Robertson hopes he will shake off the disappointment of failing to book a slot at next summer’s European Championships in France and sign up for the task of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Hull left-back said: “He should stay, one million per cent he should stay. All the boys say that. He’s the man to take us forward. He’s the man to take us to a championship.
“I do think he will [stay on] but obviously he just needs time to think.
“You could hear the fans singing his name after Saturday’s match with Gibraltar and there is no division in the camp.
“All the boys want him to stay and all the staff want him to stay, so it’s up to him to now make his decision and hopefully it’s the right one.”
Robertson was given his Scotland debut by Strachan in Poland in March last year.
His performances bombing down the left wing have already turned him into a Tartan Army favourite but Strachan has shown a reservation to use the 21-year-old in matches where his side are expected to come under defensive pressure.
But Robertson has nothing but respect and gratitude for the former Coventry, Southampton and Celtic boss.
“This was my first campaign and I’ve gained a lot of experience through this,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ve got many more to come, so long as the manager keeps picking me.
“It was the manager who gave me my chance. He called me into the squad, gave me my first cap and then a few more after that. I can’t thank him enough for that.
“He coaches everyone and tries to improve every player. There’s a club feel to the squad and as a national team that’s what you want.
“If he keeps doing that we will continue to get better and hopefully that starts next campaign. I’m looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers already and I’m sure the rest of the squad are the same.”
Scotland rounded off their qualifying fixtures with a 6-0 drubbing of Gibraltar in Faro on Sunday but even that resounding win did not mask the pain of another failed campaign.
The final blow was delivered last Thursday when a 2-2 draw at home to Poland, combined with Ireland’s 1-0 win over world champions Germany, snuffed out their faint hopes of claiming a play-off slot.
Many, though, will look back on last month’s disastrous 1-0 defeat in Georgia as the moment when Strachan’s team threw it all away.
With the recriminations still on-going, though, Robertson has urged the Tartan Army to rally behind the players.
He said: “It’s easy to sit back and look at the Georgia game and think that is where we slipped up. It’s hard not to look at it that way.
“But we’re not going to dwell on it. That game is well gone now and we need to try and forget about that
“Everyone needs to be positive about the next campaign.”