Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has backed manager Craig Levein to lead Scotland into their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign despite the team's failure to reach Euro 2012.
Levein's side headed into Tuesday night's final round of matches needing to beat Spain to ensure a play-off berth, although matching Czech Republic's result in Lithuania would have been enough. The Scots were beaten 3-1 in Alicante, though, and the Czechs cruised to a 4-1 win in Kaunas, leaving the Scots to reflect on what might have been.
"I always make a point of wishing the manager the best of luck before a game and speaking to him afterwards. It is important that he knows he has the full support of myself and everyone at the Scottish FA," Regan told www.scottishfa.co.uk.
"Both myself, [SFA vice-president] Campbell Ogilvie and [performance director] Mark Wotte agreed that we lost to a formidable and near-invincible Spanish team. What was encouraging was seeing David Goodwillie score his first goal, and Scotland creating several chances against the world champions."
As for what happens next, Regan said: "It is simple. We reflect on the campaign as a whole and prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign.
"On a personal level, I am hugely impressed by the work being carried out by Craig and anyone who speaks to the players in the squad will realise just how big an impact he has made on a team that, frankly, was in disarray before he took over.
"The players believe in what he wants to achieve and the performances and results are continuing to improve.
"I've mentioned Goodwillie but you can also look at the impact Barry Bannan, Charlie Adam, Phil Bardsley and now Craig Mackail-Smith are making: these players have all come to prominence under Craig Levein. He is dedicated to taking this team forward and qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014."