GORDON STRACHAN has spoken about his ill-fated reign in charge of Middlesbrough, admitting that he did not feel he earned his money while a manager at the Riverside Stadium.
Strachan took over as Boro manager from Gareth Southgate in 2009, lasting less than a year before leaving his post by mutual consent.
The former Southampton and Celtic boss did not accept any compensation owed to him for his remaining two and a half years on his contract, and the Scotsman, who is now manager of Scotland, admitted he lacked the requisite desire in his 11 months on Teesside.
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"They were great people to me but there wasn't that intensity," Strachan said yesterday, after naming Sunderland pair Steven Fletcher and Phil Bardsley in his latest squad to face Poland in a friendly on March 5. "I found it very strange.
"Maybe the drive for me wasn't there after wanting to fight the world for 15 years. I don't know, I don't over analyse.
"It's the only place where I feel that I didn't earn my money. Whether I was on £15-a-week at Dundee or a lot more at Celtic, I always felt like I earned my money.
"I couldn't blame anybody at Middlesbrough for that, it was my fault. When you know it is your fault then it is easier to deal with."
Strachan is enjoying life as an international manager, but has not ruled out a return to club management in the future.
"I can disappear for weeks now, I can live in another country,” Strachan said. “With players, you have the choice not to pick them, you don't have to deal with them again if they don't want to be part of the squad.
SMALL TALK: Gordon Strachan speaks to the media at a press conference yesterday in Paisley to reveal the latest Scotland squad
"The other thing I think is different is the media generally want you to do well here. You don't get that with Celtic or Rangers because you [the media] are not allowed to. I get the general feeling that everybody wants the Scotland team to do well.
"Apart from the punter or player who thinks every journalist hates them and wants to be involved in horrendous results, I don't get that feeling. I think nearly everybody wants the Scotland team to do well and because of that, it's a better working environment for me."
He added: "Never say never but honestly I can't see myself doing anything else but this, as long as they want me. It's not even in my mind, I haven't thought about it. I enjoy this."