wnol.info July 25 2017


Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths 'trying too hard' for first Scotland goal

July 25 2017, 08:41 | Van Peters

Gordon Strachan's struggling side only have four points from their opening four games

Gordon Strachan's struggling side only have four points from their opening four games

Scotland have won just one of their last seven matches - away from home against Malta in their opening group game - and Strachan's side can be backed at 11/8 (2.38) with Paddy Power to kickstart their qualification campaign with a vital victory from this fixture.

Strachan might not even be there come the summer if it all goes pear-shaped Sunday evening with his four-year reign under real pressure following consecutive 3-0 qualifying defeats and a dire 1-1 draw in a midweek friendly against world ranked number 117 Canada.

"It's great if you can bring along a group of lads that are always on form - but I don't think that ever happens where everyone who comes along to the squad is feeling good about themselves", said Strachan.

Listen, do you think he'd name a team he feels won't win the game?

Griffiths, who had not scored in his 11 previous appearances for his country, should have broken the deadlock 10 minutes before the break when a sublime Snodgrass centre fell perfectly for him only four yards out but he smashed the crossbar when a goal looked certain.

"We have to approach every game with optimism, believing we can get three points". "We have got ourselves back into contention".

"I'm not too concerned about that, I need to focus on my job".

"We don't suffer when we've done well, thinking that it counts in the next game".

"There's been a lot of negativity around the last couple of results, which we understand, this is football".

"Anybody who gave us a thought, who wanted us to win tonight".

"What if we don't win?" The game attracted a worrying crowd of just 9,158 and, as the assistant manager, Mark McGhee, had no other choice but to admit afterwards, there was nothing positive to take from it.

The 31-year-old added: "Hopefully we put in a performance that makes sure next time we play it's full up".

But Griffiths has warned the Tartan Army not to expect an all-out assault.

Asked how he views the group, Armstrong said: "Optimistically, we are in a good position".

"We have known all along the importance of Sunday night and have a totally different way of thinking about Sunday than we did last night".

Brown was never likely to declare himself available in the immediate aftermath of the win, without discussing the situation with Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, who had six of his players in the Scotland starting line-up on Sunday.



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