Croatia coach Stimac offers to resign after Scotland defeat

Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:08am BST

Croatia's manager Igor Stimac participates in a training session, ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Scotland on Tuesday, at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Croatia's manager Igor Stimac participates in a training session, ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Scotland on Tuesday, at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland October 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Russell Cheyne

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(Reuters) - Croatia coach Igor Stimac offered his resignation after his team lost their final World Cup qualifier 2-0 to Scotland on Tuesday.

Croatia took just one point from their last four Group A matches to leave them second in the standings behind Belgium and facing a two-legged playoff to qualify for the tournament finals in Brazil in 2014.

Stimac has been in charge of Croatia since the departure of former manager Slaven Bilic last year.

"It is a bad defeat. I offered my mandate (resignation) to the president of the Croatian football federation because of the latest results of our team, because everything that surrounds us," he said on Sky Sports.

"It's not about tonight, it's about the last few months since I took this job," he added.

"From the first day many people tried to obstruct what we were doing even when we were winning, even when we were fourth on FIFA's list. (There is) A terrible atmosphere in the side whatever we do. The last few results helped with my decision.

"It's all on the board in the football federation. They have to be honest with their decision. If they still believe I'm the man now, I will keep on going."

Asked if Croatia would qualify via the playoffs he said: "On top of this game tonight, no."

Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring for Scotland at Hampden Park in the first half with a header before Steven Naismith added a second after the interval when he followed up Barry Bannan's penalty that was saved by Stipe Pletikosa.

Croatia striker Eduardo said: Our federation decides if he stays of or if he goes. It's still fresh this news for us. Something is wrong on the pitch now. A lot of players have a discussion in the dressing room."

(Writing by Toby Davis in London, editing by Justin Palmer)

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