GORDON STRACHAN admitted today that it will be an emotional moment when he leads Scotland out for his first competitive game as manager.
Strachan took the reins for last month’s friendly with Estonia at Pittodrie, but concedes that tonight’s match against Wales will be a different proposition altogether.
The Scots take on Chris Coleman’s side at Hampden, still looking for their first victory in Group A of their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign.
Strachan’s family will be there to support him, but he admits he would have loved his father, Jim, who died in 2011, to have seen him take his bow as national boss at Hampden.
He said: “It’s a kind of strange feeling being head coach of a nation.
“I don’t know how I am going to react, I just know that all of my family is going to be there. It would be great if my dad could have been here. But, in saying that, through football we spent loads of great time together.
“With my dad, I spent some wonderful times, and have been able to do that probably far more than any other father-and-son combination, but my mother is going to be here, and she is never at games.
“I think she only saw me play in about five games throughout my entire career.”
Scotland’s chances of qualifying from Group A are hanging by a thread after four games without a victory, and Strachan knows that the expectations of a nation rest on his shoulders.
He continued: “The realisation when you are the manager of Scotland is that this is fantastic. You have the opportunity to make a nation happy.
“Before, for me, it was always a certain amount of people at Coventry, Southampton and Celtic – which was bigger, obviously. With Scotland, you can make millions of people happy, but the problem is you can make a nation miserable at the same time.
“The rewards are fantastic, but there is another side to it. You can make people miserable as well.”