Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher has hinted he is ready to call time on his international career but has urged manager Gordon Strachan to continue.
The future of Strachan is in major doubt after the Scots’ failure to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Russia, with the SFA set to meet next week to discuss the burning issue.
It is a second failed qualification campaign in his near five-year spell in charge for Strachan but Fletcher is keen to see the manager to stay on. He said: “I don’t know what will happen with the manager, I’m not sure what will happen with myself yet but I hope he stays.
“You can see how much the players enjoy working for him. With the continuity of the working under him, I know the boys can get there next time. They love playing for him and you see that every time.”
Fletcher is convinced his side will bounce back from the disappointment of not reaching the World Cup by qualifying for Euro 2020 – even if he is not there to savour it.
Stoke City midfielder Fletcher, 33, has already indicated he is considering his international future.
Fletcher, who has 80 caps, has strongly hinted he will step aside for the next generation to flourish but he feels the recent improvement in Scotland’s performances augurs well for the next campaign.
Fletcher said: “This one hurts because it’s the most recent. In the past there was obvious disappointment but I always felt there was another qualifying tournament around the corner for me. The big thing for me is that I can say now this group will qualify for the Euros next time.
“There’s obviously that extra number now and they are more than capable of finishing second or top of their group. I think you will see them get there. If I’m not there then so be it.
“I have had my time and that’s football. It doesn’t stop for anyone, it moves on. I have had my time and have given it my all.
“People will talk about the disappointment of not achieving anything but I know I have given it my all and I hope people can see that, too. There are times when you don’t play well but I always turned up. I know what it meant to me to play for my country.
“Maybe at times I tried too hard. I didn’t achieve what I wanted to do for the fans.”