Gordon Strachan: Scotland playing France was '˜huge mistake'

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admits he should never have taken his side to France last week.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan regrets taking on the friendly with France. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The national coach admits it was a “huge mistake” agreeing to face the Euro 2016 hosts just days before the tournament.

Strachan’s team were humbled 3-0 by a Les Bleus side flying high ahead of the finals.

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He admits the defeat has only heaped fresh misery on a team already struggling to come to terms with their failure to qualify.

Speaking in the Daily Record, Strachan said: “At this point I’m going to hold my hands up here and admit I made a huge mistake in taking the team to France last week for that friendly in Metz. All it did was give us a taste of what is about to come before having to walk away from it.

“I’m now struggling to work out what I was thinking about when I took that game on. I’ve got to take responsibility for that because I hoped our players would enjoy it but, when faced with the reality of it, they realised there’s a huge tournament about to begin and we’re not welcome at it.

“We saw the excitement of the people over there, the security - the whole enormous scale of the thing - and it made us feel even more miserable about ourselves.

“So that maybe wasn’t the cleverest thing to do. Someone at the SFA should stick it away in the memory bank for future use of anyone who is the manager in the years to come and file it under: That’s not a good idea!”

The competition kicks off on Friday night when Didier Deschamps’ hosts take on Romania but Strachan admits the whole event has become a turn-off for him because of Scotland’s exclusion after their failed qualifying campaign.

“I’ve got to be honest, this tournament hasn’t even started yet and I’m sick of it already,” said the former Celtic and Southampton boss, who will be in Bordeaux on Saturday to see Wales take on Slovakia.

“I switch off the telly whenever the trailers come on. I can’t watch any of the updates on the sports channels. I’ve literally blanked myself from the enjoyment of Euro 2016 because I feel responsible for the fact that we’re not there.”