No walking away from Scotland

Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee will be “amazed” if Gordon Strachan walks away from his job.

McGhee gave an impassioned defence of their performance as a Scotland management team amid debate over Strachan’s future in the wake of the 3-0 defeat by England.

The Motherwell manager is determined to continue in his role and he expects Strachan to do likewise.

Speaking at his club’s press conference ahead of Saturday’s visit of Partick Thistle, McGhee said: “I will be amazed if he doesn’t, I will be amazed if he doesn’t. Because in the week leading up to the game I know his appetite was full.

“It showed in the performance, that he got his message across and the boys responded and played very, very well. He is entitled to go into the next games and see if we can improve on the results.”

McGhee has deliberately avoided media reaction to the Wembley defeat, which left Scotland fifth in their World Cup qualifying section with four points from four matches, and has not spoken at length to Strachan since last Friday night.

But he reiterated he felt the team’s attitude and approach was “spot-on” and described their start to the game as excellent, enough to convince him that they can revive results next year, which starts with the visit of Slovenia on March 26.

“We have our views and everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course they are, that’s the business we are in,” McGhee said.

“But, as far as I am concerned, I am looking forward to the next games, in particular I cannot wait for the game in June. I want to get the other games, of course I do, and I want to do well but I want to be here when we play England at Hampden.

“Whatever else anyone says, we will just keep doing it until someone else takes the keys off us and we can’t do it.”

Scotland took seven points from their first four matches in their Euro 2016 campaign from arguably a tougher run of fixtures, against Germany, Georgia, Poland and the Republic of Ireland. But McGhee bristled at the suggestion that there were no signs of progress.

“In some ways our results and overall performance in the last campaign is better than it is in this campaign,” he said.

“However you have to be honest, you have to look at the players we have available, look at the opposition. Don’t judge it as the same thing, things evolve. Circumstances in each game are different.

“You can’t be blind where you don’t take account of any other circumstance other than the result. That’s not fair. Last time we had a great result and performance against Ireland.

“We have not had one of those big results and performances yet. But that’s what we are working towards. We were close to it at Wembley in some ways and that’s what we will take into the next game, that we want that big performance.

“I feel if we go into that game and it was to be abject then there are clearly questions that need to be asked. But I feel so far that Gordon has done just about as well as we could be expected to do.”

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