McGregor: We need to enjoy game

Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor has urged his team-mates to enjoy their World Cup qualifier against Serbia.

Last Updated: 24/03/13 at 17:42 Post Comment   

Allan McGregor: 'We need to go out and enjoy it'

Allan McGregor: 'We need to go out and enjoy it'

Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor has urged his team-mates to enjoy their World Cup qualifier against Serbia as the national team look to get out of their rut.

Scotland sit bottom of Group A with two points after letting slip a lead against Wales for the second time in their campaign on Friday night, as Gordon Strachan began his competitive reign with a 2-1 home defeat.

The games do not get any easier for Scotland with two trips to the Balkans coming up, firstly against Serbia in Novi Sad on Tuesday before facing Croatia in June.

McGregor insists spirits remain high despite going five matches without victory in their campaign and wants the players to relish rather than fear the encounter in Serbia.

Scotland looked extremely nervous in the opening quarter on Friday as Wales dominated possession but they settled down and built on Grant Hanley's 45th-minute opener before Robert Snodgrass's penalty-box foul changed the game.

McGregor said: "Morale is fine, obviously it would be stupid for me to say we are not disappointed because all the boys are.

"We didn't start the game well but I thought we finished the first half well and I thought at the start of the second half we were in control until the sending-off.

"It's just one of those things, the boys are fine.

"We just have to have it in our head to be ready.

"We need to go out and enjoy it because we looked for the first 20 minutes of the second half that we were enjoying it.

"Obviously the goal helped us and probably (Gareth) Bale going off helped us a wee bit, but we looked good."

Strachan is still missing the experience of Darren Fletcher, Scott Brown and James Morrison in midfield, while Steven Fletcher is back at Sunderland after going off in the opening stages of the Wales game with an ankle injury, and Snodgrass is suspended following his red card.

Some of Strachan's squad are relatively new to international football but Besiktas goalkeeper McGregor is not concerned with the pressure facing him as Scotland look to restore battered national pride.

"I've always had pressure all my career so for me it's not that bad," the former Rangers player said.

"It might be different for players who only have one or two caps, I understand that but you would need to ask them that."

McGregor could not explain how Scotland have failed to win so far in the campaign - he prefers to focus on putting things right on the park.

"I think we have a great group of players," he said.

"A lot of them are playing at a very good level

"I think things have gone against us in games but I'm not here to make excuses. We are where we are for a reason.

"It's just one of those things but hopefully it will change sooner rather than later.

"We need to start the game better than we did on Friday night."

Scotland's forlorn hopes of making Brazil could be mathematically extinguished this week and the focus could switch to avoiding a bottom-placed finish.

But McGregor is not looking at any long-term targets - he just wants to rediscover that winning feeling.

"Obviously every game you want to win so that won't change, but the most important thing is getting it," he said.

"It's been a long time without a win so all the boys are choking for the first win and the first competitive win for the new manager.

"I'm just looking at trying to do our best and trying to get our first win."

Kenny Miller trained on Sunday despite reports of an injury problem as Strachan put his squad through their paces at the indoor facilities in Toryglen in Glasgow, however Norwich full-back Russell Martin is a fitness doubt.


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