Was it satisfying? I think the satisfying bit comes when you go in the dressing room and they are all leaping about, jumping and singing
which haven’t been full. If you get the right stuff then you’re fine.
“It was a strange, strange feeling at the end of the game. When they started off playing I thought ‘that’s what we’re trying to achieve, that’s what we used the Canada game the other night for, to find out who could run, who was fit and who could play with each other’.
“Was it satisfying? I think the satisfying bit comes when you go in the dressing room and they are all leaping about, jumping and singing. It is a pity we don’t see each other for a long time now.”
Despite Scotland battering opponents who were second in Group F and nine places above them in the FIFA world rankings, their fans were still far from satisfied.
A section of the support jeered the introduction of Chris Martin for the excellent James Morrison towards the end of the match even though Strachan was replacing a midfielder with a striker as he pushed for a winner.
Martin, the Derby County forward who is on loan at Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship this season, had the last laugh by scoring an excellent goal with just two minutes remaining and his manager is unconcerned by the reaction the player received.
“I have my own thoughts about that, but I will keep them to myself,” he said. “As I said on the night, he has joined a great club of top players who have had a wee bit of stick from the fans. But he is a hero in our eyes, that’s for sure.”
Scotland look to have found a new star in Stuart Armstrong. Strachan described his display as “the best debut I have ever seen” in the immediate aftermath of the triumph. He expanded on his comments.
“I always knew his running power was good, but I didn’t know how strong he had become with his running power,” he said. “It is okay to run, but to be strong and run at the same time is difficult and that’s what he’s got.
“That changed when he moved position about September time really. It has changed his career. It has definitely helped Celtic and it has helped us. So players make a big difference. I thought Scott Brown was back to his best as well. We could be here all day talking about good players.”
Strachan switched Kieran Tierney to right back so that he could accommodate both the Celtic defender and Andy Robertson of Hull City in the same side and was rewarded with lively performances from both men.
The individual showings of two men whose combined age is just 42 gives him optimism for the future. He said: “When I told Kieran what I was going to do he said: ‘No problem’. Listen, he was just superb.
“A lot of players have moved from right back to left back over the years, but I didn’t think it should be any different going the other way. When you have got two players like that you have to try and play them both. You have to try and get your best players on the pitch.”
TAKE A SEAT . . . ANY SEAT: Hampden was less than half full for Sunday night’s victory over Slovenia, but Scotland manager Gordon Strachan (below) reckons a thrilling finale may change that.