Craven Cottage

Next Game

Scotland v Nigeria

Wednesday, 28 May 2014, 16:00

International Match

Last Game

Poland 0 - 1 Scotland

Wednesday, 05 March 2014, 19:45

International Match

Strachan: Mandzukic like Messi

Gordon Strachan believes Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic will be as hard to nullify as Lionel Messi.

Last Updated: 07/06/13 at 18:39 Post Comment   

Mario Mandzukic: Croatia and Bayern Munich striker praised by Gordon Strachan

Mario Mandzukic: Croatia and Bayern Munich striker praised by Gordon Strachan

Scotland head into Friday's World Cup qualifier in Zagreb knowing they face a side with talent all over the pitch.

But Strachan believes that coping with Mandzukic, who scored for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, will be as tough as dealing with Barcelona maestro Messi.

He said: "Everybody is aware of Mandzukic unless you come from Planet Zog. You know what he does, how he plays. I know what he does but I can't stop him.

"It's all right knowing what he does. It's like Messi. People know what he does but nobody can stop him.

"We will try our best. The longer we keep the ball, then the less chance there is of the other team doing well.

"Whatever team you're playing for, the longer you keep the ball, the less chance there is of the other team hurting you."

Scotland sit bottom of Group A with their hopes of World Cup qualification over, but Strachan believes they can record a positive result against the Croats.

He said: "To get some sort of points from it and for everybody to get back on the bus and say 'I did as well as I could'.

"That's the coaching staff, the players, everybody.

"We couldn't have used the hours any more so they must feel good about themselves because we've left nothing to chance."

With Darren Fletcher, Kenny Miller, Gary Caldwell and Scott Brown all absent from the squad, James Morrison will wear the captain's armband for the first time at international level.

Strachan said: "He's a good player and I think he sets a standard in training.

"He goes about approaching the game in a professional manner. He's a good professional, he's never had any problems.

"He does the right things, he understands the game, he asks questions. There were one or two candidates and we went for James.

"He never gets too low or too high and that's crucial when you're part of the coaching staff or the captain."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: Tony Pulis hails Crystal Palace after win over Everton

Tony Pulis hailed his Crystal Palace players after they beat Everton to reach 40 points in the Premier League.

Premier League: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini vows to fight despite Sunderland draw

Manuel Pellegrini admitted the loss to Liverpool was still on Manchester City's minds as they drew with Sunderland.

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid beat arch-rivals Barcelona to win the cup final 2-1

Gareth Bale's brilliant goal five minutes from time gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property