Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v Scotland

Saturday, 13 June 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

Last Game

Scotland 6 - 1 Gibraltar

Sunday, 29 March 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

Strachan pleased with Scotland

Gordon Strachan felt Scotland produced their best attacking display to date under his management as they drew 2-2 with Nigeria in Wednesday's friendly at Craven Cottage.

Last Updated: 29/05/14 at 11:47 Post Comment

Gordon Strachan: Saw Scotland draw with Nigeria

Gordon Strachan: Saw Scotland draw with Nigeria

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Having replaced Craig Levein 16 months ago, Strachan has overseen an impressive upturn in fortunes at the helm.

Scotland have risen to 22nd in the FIFA rankings and, while they will again be frustrated observers again during the World Cup, their performance against African champions Nigeria highlighted that improvement.

A late leveller denied the Tartan Army victory in west London but that could not wipe the smile off Strachan's face after the improved attacking display he called for materialised.

"In terms of positive play, that is as a good as it gets," he said.

"I think we have been terrific in terms of being a unit and making sure nobody scores against us and have few chances.

"But I think overall there was a bit of flow tonight, flair and imagination which I liked, against a top side. I mean, they are a real top side."

Scotland took the lead after just 10 minutes in west London through Charlie Mulgrew's intelligent, if fluky, flick, only for much-changed Nigeria to level as Michael Uchebo's strike deflected home off Grant Hanley.

Strachan's side went back ahead through Azubuike Egwuekwe's own goal, only for substitute Uche Nwofor's last-gasp sucker-punch to deny Scotland victory.

"I liked a lot of things I saw there," Strachan said. "I think the only thing we had a problem with was that some of the lads have not trained for three weeks.

"Most of them have been on holiday somewhere but I am not saying they haven't been looking after themselves.

"To try and switch on, which they did at training, I thought was terrific but I just thought we lost a wee bit of fitness near the last 15 minutes.

"I thought during the game we were pass away from a great move, which could have ended up with four or five goals. I think that is the first time I have said that."

The entertaining 2-2 draw was a welcome distraction to the pre-match talk of match-fixing.

Reports in the build-up were dominated by allegations that the National Crime Agency, which investigates serious and organised crime, asked FIFA to issue an alert over attempts to fix the game at Craven Cottage - a subject Strachan was quick to avoid.

"Oh, funnily enough, you know what?" he said. "You're confusing me with someone that might answer that question."

It was a typically, if understandably, curt response from Strachan, although Nigeria counterpart Stephen Keshi was more forthcoming about the allegations.

"The thing is I don't even know where that is coming from," he said. "We don't know what happened, match-fixing or no match-fixing.

"This is the first time I've been a coach or been a player and the first time I'm hearing this, match-fixing.

"I don't think it had anything to do with our build-up or the game. We didn't think about it. I don't know if the players did.

"We did (talk about it) because it's something ridiculous, something that we don't know where it's coming from. We're not gamblers, we are football players."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Wayne Rooney cannot wait to link up with Harry Kane for England

Wayne Rooney has been gripped by the excitement surrounding Harry Kane and can't wait to link up with him against Italy.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to make first England start in Italy

Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly in Italy, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle starts for Italy against England in Turin

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been handed a start for Italy in their friendly against England in Turin.

Mail Box

It's All Just A Ruse By The 'Southern Press'...

A varied Tuesday morning Mailbox, with thoughts on the England U21s, a Sterling ruse, Kane realism, Wenger coaching youth and enjoying the charity match...

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company