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European Qualifiers Group D

Strachan: Tough test for Scots

Gordon Strachan believes a positive result against the USA will show how far his resurgent team have come since the summer.

Last Updated: 15/11/13 at 08:24 Post Comment

Gordon Strachan: Scotland boss expects big test from United States

Gordon Strachan: Scotland boss expects big test from United States

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Scotland face Jurgen Klinsmann's side at Hampden Park on Friday on the back of three wins from their last four competitive matches.

The Scots' World Cup campaign was effectively over when Strachan replaced Craig Levein in January but two victories over Croatia and a win in Macedonia have lifted the spirits of the nation and the former Celtic boss is keen to carry the feelgood factor in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

And Strachan, who lost the services of QPR winger Matt Phillips to a hamstring problem, is expecting a tough match against the visitors who stand 13th in the latest world rankings.

"This will be a very attractive friendly, not only for the fans but for the players on both sides," he told Sky Sports News.

"It is a match they believe is well worth their journey here and one we believe is well worth getting together for as we are feeling good about ourselves at the moment.

"The States have improved tremendously in recent years as their players play all over the world which is improving them all the time.

"Friday's result will obviously matter but this game is about performance as well and it gives us a chance to work on other things towards our long-term future as a group.

"We will try to give as many players a run-out as we can without making it a farce for the crowd and the players themselves.

"I think if you get too many changes it can affect the players and it devalues the game, or that period of the game, so we will try to use substitutes but sparingly I would hope.

"It's not a game to try new things, it's a case of reinforcing what we have been doing. We thought about a change of system, switch it about try something didfferent but that would be a bit confusing.

"If we have one or two systems which we can rely on for the next year or so then that's what we're looking to work on. I'm not saying we can't change the style of play, but we don't have enough time with the players and tend to keep it as simple as we can, but effective all the same.

"And it's good to have Steven Fletcher with us here again. He looks excited and happy just to be back playing. He adds class to training and adds class to games."

Strachan refused to be drawn on his team, insisting he 'would tell the players before I'd tell you (the media)', but did reveal three of his squad had sat out final training.

Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks, Derby midfielder Craig Bryson and Watford winger Ikechi Anya all missed the session but no decision will be made on their fitness until the day of the match.

Scotland will be keen to avenge the defeat they suffered last time the sides met when the USA ran out comfortable 5-1 winners in Jacksonville in May 2012.

You can keep up to date with all the action from Hampden from 7.30pm on Friday evening live on Sky Sports 2

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