Failure to beat jersey Slovenia leaves Scots short of play-offs

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Gordon Strachan refused to discuss his future and offered effusive praise of his players after Scotland’s World Cup hopes were dashed by their failure to beat Slovenia in Ljubljana. The Scots, needing victory to secure Dwight Howard Youth Jersey a play-off spot, led 1-0 at half-time before conceding two goals to Slovenia with Robert Snodgrass’s late equaliser ultimately immaterial.Strachan’s contract with the Scottish FA expires at the conclusion of the qualifying campaign, leading to the widespread assumption that the 60-year-old would leave his position as international manager of his own volition. That sense has been clouded somewhat by Scotland forcing themselves into play-off contention after a dismal start in Group F, with some members of Strachan’s squad stating publicly they want him to stay.
“You have to ask that question but you know fine well that I’m going to say I’m the last person I’m thinking about now,” said Strachan. “Players, staff and family – I want to make sure they’re all right. The players’ families have backed them up and everything else. So we are looking after them at the moment. Me? It’s not a problem. I am proud, really proud, to be their manager.“I’ve been fortunate to have been Hawks Jersey successful Hawks Authentic Jersey in Nuggets Jersey my Nuggets Authentic Jersey own career and get to places. But with all due respect to the lads I played with – some who are my mates now – this group are as good as anything I’ve worked with.“This group do it for nothing. They do it for their country, their families and the fans. So it’s an honour to work with them and they’re hurting badly. When I look back I think, ‘You have given it a right good shot,’ and they left nothing in the dressing room. Over the last two games especially they gave it everything they had.”
Strachan pointed to the lack of height in the Scottish population as a problem, a matter which will raise eyebrows given the basic level of goals conceded to Slovenia. Organisation, rather than physicality, appeared the key issue.“Technically we’re fine,” Strachan added. “But our guys have to work harder to get on the ball than bigger lads at six foot three.What I do know is that genetically we are behind. In the last campaign we were the second smallest squad behind Spain. That means that I had to pick a team tonight to try and combat their height and strength. Even at that we couldn’t combat their height and strength at set plays. Genetically we have to work at things. It is a problem for us.
“We have to fight harder for every ball and jump higher because it is easier for these type of guys. Physically we have a problem against the teams we have faced in the last couple of years.”Gareth Southgate expressed delight at the way Harry Kane captained England in the final two World Cup qualifying wins, against Slovenia and Lithuania, but admitted he is yet to Dikembe Mutombo Womens Jersey decide who will be the permanent leader.Kane’s 27th-minute penalty against Lithuania proved to be the winner here and his added-time goal had claimed victory over Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday. In all, the Tottenham striker has scored in each of the four matches he has worn the armband. Yet while Southgate described the centre-forward as one of the best he has encountered in his career, the 24-year-old will have to wait regarding whether he will be named as the captain for Russia 2018.
“It’s a fantastic record,” the manager said. “His finishing quality is top, as good as anyone I’ve played with or worked with. I’m never in doubt that if he has a good opportunity, it’ll be on target and there’s a fair chance he scores. We’re fortunate to have him.“I couldn’t be happier with the way he’s led, both in terms of by example on the pitch with his performances, but also with the group. I know everyone wants me to get a shift on [to name the captain], but, again, I want to give myself time.”
Despite qualifying as group winners Southgate admitted the mood in the England camp is a little underwhelming after what was another uninspiring display against Lithuania. “We’ve won two matches and after both we’ve come away a bit flat. We wanted to score a load of goals today on the back of the other night. When you don’t, you understand the reaction.


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