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Strachan “not scared” of England after World Cup qualifying draw

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan says he is “not scared of going anywhere” with his current squad after being grouped with England in World Cup qualifying.

While England were undoubtedly the focus for Scotland’s fans following Saturday’s draw, Strachan was also intrigued to join Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta in Group F of UEFA’s qualifying for Russia 2018.

The 58-year-old former Scotland international added he is not worried about any of his team’s qualifying opponents, as they target their first World Cup finals appearance since 1998.

“Working as a group is important in these games and that’s good because that’s the only way we win,” Strachan told the Scottish FA’s website.

“We do not have world-class individuals; we have a great bunch of players. Everything we have to do is as a unit. Some countries have players who can win games on their own; we haven’t got that at the moment.

“I’m not scared of going anywhere and playing anybody with this group of lads.”

Scotland have not beaten England since 1999, losing their past two friendlies (in 2013 and 2014) 3-2 and 3-1, respectively.

“[The last time we met] England stepped it up a gear and it was a fantastic lesson,” Strachan said, according to the Scotsman. “They pressurise you and you make mistakes and that is something that sticks with us – and I hope sticks with us to fire us on.

“The good thing from the supporters’ point of view is there are no ridiculous journeys [in qualifying]. That allows us more time on the training pitch.”

Sun 26 Jul, 2015
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