Gordon Strachan believes Scotland’s World Cup qualification struggles are behind them, saying of his side’s tough start to the campaign: “We have dealt with it”.
Back-to-back defeats to Slovakia and England in November 2016 left Scotland facing a mountain to climb in Group F, and with three games to play they are third, six points behind leaders England and four behind second-placed Slovakia.
But after seeing his players emerge unbeaten from their last three qualifiers, including Friday’s 3-0 win in Lithuania, Strachan cut a confident figure going into Monday’s home game against Malta.
“That was a bad spell we went through,” said Strachan. “Most club sides get a bad spell and I think we have dealt with it like a club side. We have got over it and recovered as a group.
“I would like to have had more points. That’s our fault. We didn’t get the points that we would like to, but now we have a bit of momentum going and want to try to pick these points up again.
Stuart Armstrong header in slow motion is pic.twitter.com/ShN7Sfu4BQ
— Scotland (@ScottishFA) September 2, 2017
“I have a great pride in what I do and enjoy working with these guys.”
Goals from Stuart Armstrong, Andrew Robertson and James McArthur secured the crucial triumph in Vilnius and Strachan paid tribute to his side’s belief.
“The belief has always come from the group of players we have got, which has evolved over the last year for different reasons: confidence, injuries, people playing better, their club sides doing better,” he added.
“But I have never had any doubts in the players really, and because we have never had any doubts with each other we could come back from not being in a good place.
“If we didn’t believe in ourselves, when you are not on a good place you can’t get out of it.
“We have dragged ourselves out of the bad place and we could only have done that if we believed in each other and enjoy working with each other.”
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