Scotland manager Gordon Strachan is hoping his hard work pays off as he sets his sights on the European Championship 2016 qualification, writes Daily
Strachan sends out his team to face Croatia in the final game of Group A, but qualification for the 2014 World Cup is far out of reach after a humiliating experience which Strachan has started work to build on.
The Scot took over in January and has improved the national side since his arrival, with the team’s shape a particular enhancement, but it has been the hard training work Strachan has been drilling into the squad.
“Manchester United never coach players,” he said. “They have so many players they say, ‘Bang!’ That’s the team – go out there and get on with it’. But it’s not like that for Scotland. We are not at that stage. We’ve got to do more work.
“At Celtic I would say, ‘Here is the team today’. I might look at a couple of things attacking-wise to break down teams but that would be it. At Coventry and Southampton the players were not as good as the players at Man United and Arsenal and Chelsea.
“So we had to do more work on shape and where they should be (on the pitch) and organisation. It’s a similar situation now with this Scotland team. We have to do a lot more.
“Hopefully it’s not boring and done within a structure that is interesting for the players. Whether it’s right or wrong I don’t know. But I would hate to go to a game where I don’t feel prepared. Because then players have a grey area.”
Scotland beat Macedonia on Friday in Skopje, the first win for the side since beating Croatia in June, but World Cup qualification is far adrift following poor defeats against Wales, Serbia and Belgium. Scotland have eight points from nine matches in Group A, having only scored six goals in the process.
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