Gordon Strachan has said that being appointed the Scotland manager was the culmination of a personal project "40 years in the making".

The former Celtic, Southampton, Coventry and Middlesbrough boss replaces Craig Levein, who was sacked in November, as the Scottish Football Association confirmed his appointment at Hampden.

He told Sky Sports News: "I am very very proud in myself and my family are proud I've become Scotland manager. It's a great day for me to do this and it's been 40 years in the making. There'll be rough times but I know there'll be good times too."

Strachan, whose contract runs up until UEFA EURO 2016, stated his desire to make Scotland a proud footballing country once more.

I am very very proud in myself and my family are proud I've become Scotland manager. It's a great day for me.

Gordon Strachan

He said: "Every club you go to there's always challenges but this is the first time the challenges are in front of a nation. If you can be successful you can make a nation happy and make a nation proud and that is the priority for me to be able to do that with help from other people."

Strachan, who has been out of a manager's job since leaving Middlesbrough in 2010, claimed it was the perfect time to step into the role. "You're always interested as long as someone asks you. But I think that time is right now because I've had that European experience," he added.

"I've had to deal with players and I've also had a couple of years where I can look at national football. The time is right for me to be able to take a job like this. I have the experience, I like working with people, I like dealing with people and I like trying to make people better."

Scotland have picked up just two points in their bid to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, but Strachan rejected the suggestion that a top-two spot is out of his players' reach. "If we work together as a group and a set of fans I know for a fact we'll be successful," he added.

"I can't ask for anything more than we're doing at the moment. We're going to use the games to try and win. My philosophy is to win games of football, like Manchester United. We still have to collect as many points as we can and it's disrespectful to say we'll use the games just to improve.

"We'll give it a go. What I know is that these guys, for all they might get criticised, are the best at what they do. They play for Scotland and we have to find a system that suits these players to win games of football."

Strachan also denied the national coach's role is a poisoned chalice, adding: "I think it's a great job. At this time in my life I can deal with this. All my experiences have prepared me for this moment."