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Mulgrew encouraged by Scotland

Charlie Mulgrew believes the teamwork on show as Scotland held the United States offers hope that they can continue to improve.

Last Updated: 16/11/13 at 14:20 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  International Friendlies. Click here to bet.

Charlie Mulgrew (l): Pleased with Scotland's teamwork

Charlie Mulgrew (l): Pleased with Scotland's teamwork

Scotland lacked a cutting edge in a goalless draw against the United States but had some chances to take the lead, notably when Craig Conway missed from 16 yards 10 minutes before the break, and Robert Snodgrass saw a curling free-kick brilliantly tipped over by Tim Howard.

American substitute Aron Johannsson spurned two late opportunities, although one of them was saved expertly by David Marshall, but Scotland were otherwise solid at the back against a team ranked 13th in the world and who have qualified for their seventh successive World Cup finals.

They had decent spells of possession in the American half but lacked a killer pass with wide players Conway and Barry Bannan having to cut in on to their favoured foot.

Although the 0-0 draw did not build on recent wins over Macedonia and Croatia, it maintained the stability that manager Gordon Strachan has achieved and showed how far Scotland have come given they lost 5-1 to Jurgen Klinsmann's side in Florida 18 months ago.

Mulgrew said: "It wasn't too bad. They had a lot of the ball but we battled well and it was a good clean sheet and not a bad performance.

"We are working on a lot of things and the manager is bringing a lot of ideas.

"We are getting there slowly but surely with a couple of very good results along the way.

"We have a lot of forward-thinking players but they also have a defensive mentality as well and they do their work for the team, which helps everybody.

"We defend as a team and attack as a team, which helps everybody and we just need to keep that going."

Scotland now face Norway in Molde on Tuesday with Strachan set to make some changes after handing centre-back Gordon Greer his debut and giving the defender's Brighton team-mate, Conway, his home debut.

Mulgrew said: "There are things we can improve on from the game and we will look at that.

"We will look for the positives from that game and I am sure we will work on the negatives as well. The manager has seen a few things we can improve on.

"I'm sure we will work on that and hopefully get them right for the next game."

Mulgrew was back in central midfield alongside captain and Celtic team-mate Scott Brown after playing at left-back in last month's 2-0 win over Croatia when Steven Whittaker was suspended and Lee Wallace injured.

The 27-year-old again looked comfortable in the role as he continues to show the composure in possession that has seen him utilised in the middle for his club.

"I am enjoying it in there, I get a lot of the ball," Mulgrew said.

"I enjoy playing with Broony. I hope he enjoys playing with me. We work hard together and it's good to get a lot of the ball."

Mulgrew suffered a late knock when he took a knee to the thigh but he dismissed any suggestion he might struggle to make the Norway friendly.

"It's all right, he caught me on the nerve and it went numb, but it's fine," he said.

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