Strachan putting in the hard yards

Scot­land man­ager Gor­don to freshen up his squad fo

Sunday Herald - - SPORT -

ANY­ONE think­ing Gor­don Strachan has spent the last four months qui­etly stew ing over Scot­land’s strug­gles at the star of this al­ready for lorn World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign would be very much mis­taken. The gap be­tween the 3-0 loss to Eng­land at Wem­b­ley in Novem­ber to this week’s dou­ble-header agains Canada and Slove­nia has given the na­tional team man­ager plenty of time for con­tem­pla­tion.

But rather than brood­ing or wal low­ing in self-pity, Strachan has used it to cast an eye over po­ten­tial addi tions to his squad. Call-ups for un capped trio Stu­art Arm­strong, Tom Cair­ney and Ryan Fraser, and re­calls for Matt Phillips, Jor­dan Rhodes and Al­lan McGre­gor, sug­gest it has been time well spent.

“I’ve not been too bad, to be hon­est with you,” he says of his gen­eral mind­set. “It’s not like you si here think­ing: ‘ We must play nex week, I want to play next week. I knew what the timescale was and I hope I’ve used it wisely.

“Look­ing at the squad you can see I did use my time to find other play­ers and to freshen it up. So I spent my time do­ing that, watch­ing foot­ball. It’s not a bad hobby watch ing foot­ball.”

The Canada friendly on Wednes day night of­fers greater scope for ex per­i­men­ta­tion be­fore the com­pet­i­tive ac­tion re­turns when Slove­nia come to Ham­p­den next Sun­day. None o the six Celtic play­ers in the squad will play in mid­week should they start against Dundee this af­ter­noon while those who have strug­gled for reg­u­lar ac­tion at their clubs may be given the chance to stretch their legs ahead of the more mean­ing­ful match at the week­end.

“At the time we ar­ranged the Cana da game there were a few play­ers no get­ting a game for their clubs and I thought they would ben­e­fit from a game one way or an­other,” ex­plained Strachan. “It has been a long pe­riod since the Eng­land game and I though it was bet­ter to have some­thing else

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.