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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Sunday, 7 October, 2001, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Craig Brown's highs and lows
Craig Brown is heading for the Hampden exit
Craig Brown is heading for the Hampden exit
BBC Sport Online looks back at Craig Brown's reign as Scotland manager after his decision to quit the job.

As the door closed on Craig Brown's career as Scotland coach, he can hold his record as national manager up in favourable comparison with the best of his predecessors.

Failure to qualify for consecutive international competitions - 2002 World Cup and Euro 2000 - signalled that it was time for a fresh approach.

But those failures should not be allowed to mask the many highlights of his eight-year period at the helm.

In his 70 games in charge, Scotland won 32 times, drew 18 and lost 20.

Twenty-six of those victories came in competitive internationals. Scotland lost only nine competitive games under Brown's tenure.

Brown looks pensive against Brazil
Brown looks pensive against Brazil

It all began for Brown in November 1993 - he was appointed full-time manager of the national side hours before the World Cup qualifier against Malta.

He took over from Andy Roxburgh after it became clear that qualification for the 1994 World Cup finals was beyond Scotland - the first time Scotland had missed a World Cup since 1970.

Brown took over as interim manager after a home draw with Switzerland and oversaw a 3-1 defeat by Italy in October.

But a 2-0 victory over Malta paved the way for a successful Euro 96 qualifying campaign.

England was the stage and Scotland were drawn against the hosts along with Holland and Switzerland in the group stages.

A goalless draw with Holland in the opening game set the Scots up for the long-awaited clash with England at Wembley.

Cruel twist

Gary McAllister's penalty miss and a world-class goal from Paul Gascoigne left the Tartan Army crying into their beer.

A 1-0 win over Switzerland looked like putting the Scots into the second phase of a major tournament for the first time, but a late Dutch goal in a 4-1 defeat by England put Holland through on goal difference.

Another glorious failure for Scotland, but Brown knuckled down to the job of qualifying for the 1998 World Cup in France.

That was achieved from a qualifying group which included Sweden and Austria.

Scotland were drawn to play arguably the biggest game in the country's history - the opening game of the World Cup finals against holders Brazil in Paris.

An early Brazilian goal was countered before half-time by a John Collins penalty, but a cruel ricochet off Tom Boyd past Jim Leighton sealed Scotland's fate.

A 1-1 draw with Norway in a game Scotland should have won was followed by a must-win match against Morocco.

Defeat by Morocco was a low point
Defeat by Morocco was a low point

The 3-0 defeat that ensued was the first real embarrassment of Brown's Scotland career.

Brown's job was safe, though, and he led Scotland to the brink of qualification for Euro 2000.

A second-placed finish behind the seemingly invincible Czech Republic, not helped by a draw against the Faroe Islands, meant a two-legged play-off and Scotland were once again drawn against the Auld Enemy.

The first leg at Hampden produced a below-par Scots performance and two Paul Scholes goals gave England an apparently insurmountable lead.

But Scotland went to Wembley and outplayed the English, going ahead with a Don Hutchison header.

David Seaman, who had saved McAllister's penalty three years previously, foiled Scotland again, pulling off an incredible save to deny Christian Dailly and put the Scots out.

Brown retained the backing of the SFA and Scotland got off to a good start in their quest to qualify for Korea and Japan.

But that faltered at home to Belgium and then Croatia and finally came off the rails in Brussels last month.

Craig Brown
"In the early days as a manager I was a bit of a lunatic"
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