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Darren Fletcher keen to finally end Scotland heartache

07 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Glenda Knight
  • Gordon Strachan says Leigh Griffiths is a better all-round player compared to four years ago

In this way Katanec indicated that he did not believe Slovenia had any chance of making it to the World Cup any more; a play-off would be theoretically possible only if Slovenia defeated Scotland and if Slovakia suffered a defeat at home at the hands of Malta, who have only scored a point in nine matches.

"We worked very hard in this campaign to get to a point like this and we didn't want to throw it away".

Scotland twice hit the bar through Chris Martin and Leigh Griffiths after the break, but at the death Skrtel turned the ball into his own net from Ikechi Anya's cross.

It was that little bit of luck that Scotland so richly deserved after all their effort throughout an enthralling encounter against a visiting side who were reduced to 10 men inside 17 minutes when Robert Mak was given a second yellow card for diving. We got all these great performances and the footballing Gods have made a decision to give us a victory'. "That is what we have looked at it - forget about the Slovenia game until this is over".

On Slovakia's first visit to Scotland, Gordon Strachan began with Darren Fletcher and Barry Bannan in place of the injured Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong.

"I've reiterated how important this game will be to the rest of the lads - but you've got to get a fine balance between making sure that we're calm and we believe in ourselves and we're not going over there going insane".

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"I'm just going to enjoy this for about an hour-and-a-half and then I'll really think about tomorrow morning". I think people are getting around to it now. "I've been so close a few times in these final games only for them to go against us".

Scotland attacked in waves against ten-man Slovakia, Group F's second seeds behind England, and deservedly broke through for the most significant win of Strachan's near five-year reign.

They know they must now carry that feeling into the weekend and that bid to claim the victory that will take them into the play-offs for a place at the finals in Russian Federation next year.

"It means as much to everybody, it means as much to the whole country, I'm just a small part in that".

As the match neared its conclusion, "Flower of Scotland" could be heard steadily growing before the final whistle was met with a roar louder than any in recent memory. "Referees are capable of anything so we keep calm heads, keep doing what we've been doing and we'll see how we go".

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