Strachan delighted with draw

Date published: Saturday 25th July 2015 6:24

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Group F will see Scotland face historic rivals England, as well as Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta as they look to secure a place in the finals in Russia.

“It’s a draw that has made a lot of people happy,” said Strachan. “The coaching staff are happy because we’re getting teams we’ve not faced recently.”

Speaking at Hampden Park after watching the draw with Scotland fans, the former Southampton and Celtic manager said he is particularly looking forward to renewing Scotland’s rivalry with England: “Just as the sun came out in Glasgow, it was pulled out of the hat that we’re going to play England.

“There was a lot of delirious punters here, and I can see why. It’s a fantastic fixture that the whole of Scotland and England will be looking forward to.”

The two sides have not played each other in a competitive fixture since 1999, but Strachan believes Scotland’s recent 3-1 friendly defeat to England will benefit his team in their upcoming games: “These terrific players in the England side can step it up a level, which they did against us at Celtic Park.

“That was a fantastic lesson and it’s something that still sticks with us.”

The 58-year-old is also pleased with the proximity of Scotland’s Group F opponents: “The good thing about it from a supporter’s point of view is that there’s no ridiculous journeys, and I think they’re going to visit places that they’ll enjoy,” he said.  

“And for us, there’s no ridiculous journey and time differences, which allows us more time on the training ground. And maybe apart from England, everyone will enjoy the Scotland fans turning up in their cities.”

But Strachan insists his focus remains on the remainder of Scotland’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

“I’m not that excited yet. There’s a huge job to be done just now,” he said.

“Today was a break from thinking about games coming up, but as soon as we leave here, it’s back to thinking about the Georgia and Germany games.”

Scotland, who are currently third in their qualifying group two points above the Republic of Ireland, travel to Georgia on September 4 before hosting Germany three days later.

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