Irritated Strachan proud of Scotland

12 November 2016 00:57

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan bristled at questions over his future after England ran out comfortable winners in their World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

Strachan made eight changes to the side beaten 3-0 by Slovakia last time out but found himself on the receiving end of the same result thanks to headers from Liverpool duo Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana and Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill.

A return of four points from as many matches in Group F is likely to heighten speculation over Strachan’s position but he was in no mood to discuss this after the match – suggesting it would be selfish of him to do so.

“At this moment in time, if you think I’m thinking about myself, then you don’t know me,” he told a news conference. “You absolutely don’t know me.

“Sitting here and worrying about myself? You’re wrong. Completely wrong. All these guys [the players] travelled down here, their families travelled down here, the supporters.

“When will I think about me? Probably when I’m just about to die. I’ll say: ‘Yeah, how did you get on Gord? Not a bad life’. At this moment in time it’s absolutely nothing to do with me.

“I have to think about everyone in that dressing room and how I send them back to their clubs not down. They gave it their best shot.

“We go away now, I’ll go and see if my family are alright. I’ll have a talk with them. And then we’ll de-brief with everyone else.

“The game was cruel to them tonight. Really cruel. In life, if you put that much work in, somewhere along the line the game will get good for you again.”

Strachan felt the difference was England being more clinical in front of goal, with Sturridge illuminating a first-half devoid of chances for the hosts.

Early in the second period, James Forrest and Robert Snodgrass were not as assured and Scotland found themselves duly punished.

“At this moment of time, I feel really proud of the way we played and went about the job with no fear,” he said.

“At the same time I’m really, really hurt that they had to go through that last 15 minutes having put so much in and believed in what they did.

“I couldn’t ask any more of what they have in their locker. You just need a wee break, a wee bit of magic. I’m really down for the lads in a way, but proud of them in what they tried to do.”

Strachan added: “Those chances were huge. Huge. With class players, like Sturridge’s header… that’s a hard header, and that goes in. That’s what you get from world-class players.”

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