Under-fire Scotland post Craig Levein has stated that he is still the man to manage the Celtic nation, despite poor form in World Cup qualifying.
The Scots have started their bid for inclusion at Brazil 2014 poorly, and were beaten 2-1 by Wales in their last game on Friday night.
With a daunting trip to take on Belgium on Tuesday ahead of the Tartan Army, Levein has asked for time to prove his worth.
“The evidence is there. We have not qualified since 1998 – that’s a fact,” he told reporters, published in The Telegraph.
“And you can chop and change managers as many times as you want and say, ‘This manager didn’t work and that manager didn’t work.’ What happens then is you go out and look for another manager who is the Messiah and he is going to make everything work, but I keep saying it – the teams at the top of the tree are the ones that have actually put a system in place to produce players.
“This is me talking about the long game – this is not about just now. I want to be the Scottish team manager. I am hugely proud to be the manager and nobody is working harder or putting more things in place within the SFA than I have to try and be successful.
“I understand that I get judged on results. That is the way the world works but what I say to you is that if we don’t get the system right we will still be sitting talking about this in four or six or eight years’ time.
“I don’t know what other people are saying because I haven’t been looking at anything or listening to anyone. I’ve been taking no notice of anything else. Maybe in the world out there, there is a debate going on but I don’t know about it.
“I’m only doing my job properly if I’m trying to help get a performance against Belgium. There are situations as a manager where you find you do need to get a big performance.
“There have been so many situations which have just about kick-started us in the last couple of years, but we’re still searching for that one which changes the tide. That’s why this game is a great opportunity.
“It would be a fantastic way to finish the first four games, by beating one of the best teams around just now,” he concluded.
By Gareth McKnight