Gordon Strachan has welcomed the chance to play some fresh faces in Scotland’s 2018 World Cup qualifying group.
Scotland were drawn in Group F alongside England, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta. Only Slovenia have played a World Cup qualifier in Scotland in the past 10 years and Gordon is looking forward to some interesting challenges.
Speaking to the Scottish FA, he said: “There’s quality in the group but it’s great in terms of logistics. The coaching staff have never played them too – that’s fresh. I didn’t really want teams we’ve played over the last few campaigns. This is different.
“And to cap it all - the sun comes out and we draw England!”
The Scotland fans will be hoping for a bit of revenge over the Auld Enemy who have won their last three games on Scottish soil. Gordon – who pulled on the dark blue against England four times during his career – says playing as a unit will be the key to winning the ties:
“I think there were cheers from both Scotland and England when they came out the hat.
“Working as a group is important in these games and that’s good because that’s the only way we win. 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.”
First up for Scotland are the crucial Euro qualifiers against Georgia and Germany in September and Gordon says he’s only thinking about the games ahead:
“I’ve been so caught up in the Georgia and the Germany games coming up. I think every manager in the European Qualifiers will be the same, we’re just concentrating on the games ahead.”