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Gordon Strachan

Managing: Southampton
Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 09/02/1957


Gordon Strachan returned to management on Monday 22 October 2001 when he was asked to help Southampton escape a relegation battle in the FA Barclaycard Premiership after a disappointing start to the season saw them lose six of their first eight games.

Gordon was asked to step in following the dismissal of manager Stuart Gray who had been in charge at the club for just four months having succeeded his former boss Glenn Hoddle at the helm.

Strachan had been out of management for just six weeks having himself been dismissed by Coventry City after five years in charge at Highfield Road.

The Scot's first managerial job was came as assistant to Ron Atkinson in March 1995 and he succeeded Ron as manager in November 1996, becoming Coventry's longest serving manager at the club since John Sillett.

As a player, Strachan was a hard working midfielder who generally played on the right flank. He had an ability to thread his way through defences and was a master of the long sweeping pass. He had an illustrious career in Scotland as one of the key players in Aberdeen's success under Alex Ferguson in the 1980's winning Scottish Premier League titles in 1980 and 1984, Scottish Cup medals in 1982, 1983 and 1984 and a European Cup Winners Cup medal in 1983 when the Dons beat Real Madrid.

Atkinson brought the tireless Scot to Old Trafford in 1984 where he won an FA Cup Winners medal and played again under Ferguson before moving to Leeds United. He captained Leeds to the Division Two title in 1990 and two years later, at the age of 35, led them to the Division One Championship in its last year before the inception of the Premier League.

He was voted Scottish Footballer of the Year in 1980 and in 1992 he won the English Footballer of the Year award becoming the only man to win the award on both sides of the border. He won his first Scottish cap in 1980 against Northern Ireland, was a member of the World Cup squads in both 1982 and 1986, and won his 50th and final cap against Finland in 1992.

Renowned for his dry wit and passion for the game, Strachan attempted to preserve The Sky Blues' record of remaining in the top division since 1967 and was able to do so until the 2000/2001 season when the club dropped into the First Division.

Strachan was understandably disappointed but vowed to return the Sky Blues to the top flight with the support of his chairman Brian Richardson.

After a poor start to the season however, there was unrest amongst the fans at Highfield Road and Strachan left the club to be replaced by his assistant Roland Nilsson.

Having gained considerable experience at Highfield Road and having, no doubt, picked up plenty of tips from his own former managers Ron Atkinson, Alex Ferguson and Howard Wilkinson, Strachan will be eager to use his experience to lift the Saints out of danger and his contribution on the training ground, where he admits he enjoys being most of all, is certainly something that should benefit a club that is looking to retain it's top flight status having only just moved to a new stadium, namely St. Mary's.

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Reproduced under permission from the League Managers Association.
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