Strachan: No dramatic changes to Scotland

By Craig Turnbull

Gordon Strachan says there won’t be any dramatic overhaul to the Scotland team after the failed attempt to reach Euro 2016.

The Scots missed out on the play-off after a poor run of results towards the end of the qualifying campaign but Strachan sees no need to make drastic changes to style or personnel.

Asked if there had been any players who had indicated their intentions to retire, he said. “They are all positive.

“I’ve not got a problem with age whether it’s 17 or 37.

“The criteria is whether you’re able to pass the ball, football intelligence, willing to come here and give yourself up for the team and work hard so if you’ve got all of that then you’re in with a chance of getting in this squad.

“The next time we get together will be in March. A lot can happen in four months’ time.

“I hope there is a young superstar out there. The system will be the same unless there are two or three players that develop that we have to go ‘oh there are magnificent’ but at the moment I can’t see that on the horizon so we’ll have to go with what we’ve done.”

The Scotland boss, who signed a new two year-deal in October, is busy casting an eye over the next batch of talented youngsters in the Under 21s as they take on Ukraine in the European Championship qualifiers this week.

But he warned the step up from the Under 21s to the full national team is not easy and outlined the criteria with which they will be assessed.

“There’s quite a few [who don’t make it past 21s]. It’s a big leap sometimes you get guys who play 21s but don’t play regularly with their first team and it’s very hard to ask them to jump up.

“The next step before you get to our squad is playing regularly in your first team in a competitive league.

“I’ll be watching how they get on with each other, watching who integrate well, who are willing to give their time up for the under 21s.”

He added: “If you want to be at the level where international players play or Champions League players, you have to decide right now, you have to play 55 or 60 games a season. That’s what top players do.

“Get your mind right, that stiffness is not a disease it’s part and parcel of what top players deal with.

“Can you play with your club then come to us and play two big games in four days that’s what I’m looking for people who can deal with that.”

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