Marcha 23, 2018

Scotland boss Strachan wants one last push

07 Octubre 2017, 11:40 | Gerardo Tarin

Scotland vs Slovakia World Cup Qualifying UEFA

Slovakia focus ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Scotland

Gordon Strachan's men put on yet another late show to grab a crucial 1-0 win over Slovakia on Thursday night.

Republic of Ireland fans will be keeping a close eye on proceedings in Ljubliana.

Ten years on, the pain of Christian Panucci's 90th-minute victor for Italy at Hampden on a night when victory for Scotland would have taken them to the Euro 2008 finals still haunts the Celtic goalkeeper.

Now the 27-year-old midfielder hopes his side can top the joy experienced at the end of their thrilling last-gasp win over Slovakia by booking a World Cup play-off slot.

The result was extremely disappointing for Slovakia, who easily defeated Scotland at home earlier in the qualifying campaign. Sunday's game will be up there with the biggest games I've ever played in.

And speaking to the Scottish Sun, the Stoke player reflected on the elbow he took to the head from the Slovakian star: "In football now you can't have blood on the pitch". You can be too up for it as well.

"When you keep creating chances you know you are going to get more", he said.

The home side had a ninth-minute penalty claim when Robert Mak appeared to trip Kieran Tierney in the box but Serbian referee Milorad Mazic wasn't interested.

"You have many massive games in your career and this is another", said Fletcher.

The Scots scraped past 10-man Slovakia thanks to Martin Skrtel's last-minute own goal. "We've got to recover and go again with another really hard game".

Midway through the first period Strachan's side were handed a major boost when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

A late Martin Skrtel own-goal gave the Tartan Army a memorable three points at Hampden Park as they kept their World Cup hopes alive.

"We have to be confident and resolute; they are going to have put their bodies on the line". With England already through to the finals, the runners-up spot could yet go to one of three countries.

"It's not going to be easy on Sunday". "We said at half-time they might tire towards the end after playing for so long with ten men".

"I felt part of it down there and I could see that they had everything under control, it wasn't a problem for me, apart from a couple of misplaced passes and counter attacks".

"That momentum's definitely in our favour now".

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