George Burley refused to walk away from the Scotland job tonight after the nation's hopes of reaching the FIFA World Cup™ finals were shattered.
His position is now set to be reviewed by the Scottish FA after a 1-0 defeat to Netherlands at Hampden Parkconsigned the Scots to third place in Group 9, with Norway snatching the coveted runners-up spot that could lead to a play-off place.
A superb effort from the home nation saw them stay on level terms until the 82nd minute when substitute Eljero Elia claimed the only goal of the game - maintaining Holland's 100 per cent record and shattering Scotland's hopes of reaching their first major tournament since France 98.
Burley has found himself under increasing pressure in recent weeks but, when asked if he wants to remain at the helm, he replied: "Of course. I've been in the job a year and a half. It's probably a similar scenario tonight to the last campaign. We lost to Italy then and tonight we lost to Holland.
"We deserved something in both situations. We move on. The players we have brought in have done well so there is plenty to build on and plenty of improving to be done. Certainly the attitude and commitment has been first-class. It wasn't to be. We've got to take it on the chin and make sure we qualify for the next one."
Whether Burley is given the chance to remain in the job remains to be seen.
"We were one step away," he said. "It's up to the SFA but as manager of Scotland, I'm certainly looking forward to the next few games. You are always looking to improve, you are always looking to try to get better. Expectations are high.
It wasn't to be. We've got to take it on the chin and make sure we qualify for the next one.
"The whole structure has got to be better as far as bringing players through and quality. But I thought in the last couple of games we have shown that we have the appetite to qualify for major championships. But we've got to improve. Everything has got to improve - the manager, coaches, players - the whole thing."
A point against the Dutch would have been enough to keep Scotland's slim hopes of reaching the play-offs alive and Burley believes the moment Elia's strike hit the back of the net would have hit the entire nation hard.
He said: "I think everybody felt it. Everybody felt the disappointment. We are going for a goal, we are going to the play-offs and then bang, it's taken away. It's a massive disappointment and I think everybody who is Scottish felt that way. The crowd felt for the players and that's why they applauded them off tonight. They gave it everything."
Burley claims a Steven Naismith effort which was ruled offside should have stood and also reflected on the glorious opportunity squandered by Kenny Miller.
He said: "That's football - you've got to take an opportunity. It wasn't for a lack of trying, we had other opportunities. The goal we had ruled offside was onside. You need these decisions to go for you. But it wasn't to be. The players did everything possible and came off with pride. The fans stayed with them but we needed that win. We needed the three points to get into the play-offs - we were that close."
Holland coach Bert van Marwijk expressed his sympathy for Scotland failing to join his team at the FIFA World Cup. But Van Marwijk was determined to maintain Holland's perfect record in qualifying.
He said: "I think we deserved the three points, especially for the way we played in the second half. I said at half-time we had to have patience and take more risks. In the first half we were a little sloppy. It's not easy to come here in this ambience against a country fighting for their last chance. But we want to win everywhere and we wanted to win this game. We had won seven games already and wanted to make a little history."
Asked whether he thought Scotland would be in the play-offs had they started the campaign with the same level of performance they ended it with, he replied: "I don't know, I haven't seen all the games, I've only seen two - today's game and the one in Holland. It's a pity, it's a nice country and nice people."