Scotland coach Gordon Strachan hailed the performance of goalkeeper Allan McGregor after seeing his side earn a battling 1-0 win over Czech Republic in Prague.
Ikechi Anya’s 10th-minute goal proved the difference in the Czech capital, the winger racing on to a Ross McCormack throughball to finish, but McGregor was their star performer.
The Hull City goalkeeper made saves from Martin Frydek, Josef Sural and Tomas Necid and made a reaction stop after a ricochet in the area in the closing minutes to preserve his side’s win.
“I thought he was fantastic in the first half when he had to make a couple of great saves,” Strachan said.
“Second half he had to be professional with crosses and backpasses and things like that and he was magnificent at that.”
Strachan was happy with his side, who were missing key players including James Morrison, Scott Brown, James McArthur, Jordan Rhodes and David Marshall.
“After a slow start in the first half I thought Czech Republic played very well, but I think we allowed them to play,” he said.
“We could also say there’s a lot of players you’d expect to start who weren’t here, a lot of players who were missing. The group can be proud of what they’ve done.
“We turned up and did a double session the other day, we had to do it the other day, we can turn ourselves into a great side through hard work. We showed great learning in the second half.
“The whole squad have done themselves a favour tonight, the biggest favour is they won. We improved dramatically in the second half.
“Considering we’ve had four strikers missing, the pressure on these guys, they can be pleased with themselves.
“The players can be pleased with themselves. I don’t think anyone has to worry about their performance, especially in the second half.”
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