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Scotland fighting for pride in Macedonia

Macedonia v Scotland
BT Sport 1, 7pm

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admits that his players are desperate for a morale-boosting win over Macedonia this evening.

Strachan’s side are currently rock bottom of World Cup qualifying group A and stand no chance of reaching Brazil next year.

Pride remains at stake, however, as is Scotland’s reputation in world football.

When asked how important it was to get off the bottom, Strachan said: “It’s important to go and win every game you play or perform and if you do that you will feel good about yourself.

“If you don’t perform or don’t win, then you don’t feel good and that’s when you take a step backwards.

“But the bigger picture, we have to try people out and try things. We might as well do it now.

“There is no point doing things in a year’s time that is confusing to the players.

“We get it sorted now and find a system that suits this group of players, plus maybe another four of five we can call on or who might force themselves in.

“We must get a squad that suits these players here. I feel more and more like when I say something the boys automatically know what I mean, what kind of shape we go into, the terminology we use.”

Scotland’s aim in the longer term is to qualify for the European Championships in 2016.

Yet Strachan is not ready to declare his side’s World Cup qualification campaign a complete write-off, especially when there remains a slim chance of finishing third.

“I can work with both,” he said. “I can work with winning and trying to win and I can work with trying to progress as well. You don’t do one or another, you can do both.”


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