Belfast Telegraph

New look Scots can give Slovaks a tough test at Hampden: Martin

By Andy Newport

Chris Martin has told Slovakia that a rejuvenated Scotland side will give them "a right run for their money" when they meet at Hampden Park next month.

Gordon Strachan's men were abject when they lost 3-0 to the Slovaks in their 2018 World Cup qualifier in Trnava last October.

Prospects of reaching Russia looked all but over when the same scoreline against England at Wembley the following month left the Scots second bottom of the section with four points from four games.

However, personnel and fortunes have changed for Scotland since then and, in the 2-0 win over Malta at Hampden Park on Monday night, only defender Andy Robertson had also started in the opening Group F qualifier against the same opponents.

Scotland are unbeaten in four games and moved to within a point of second-place Slovakia with two fixtures remaining and a play-off spot up for grabs.

Martin said: "We are a point behind heading into the last two games so it is in our hands because we have to play against Slovakia. Hopefully it is a full house with everyone behind us because we are going to need them.

"They are a tough side, we've seen that in the last game against them. But we are a different team compared to that match so I think we will give them a right run for their money."

A trip to Slovenia after the home game against Slovakia will complete the group fixtures, and Martin is looking to "finish the job".

He added: "We can't get too carried away with these two victories. There are still two massive games to come."

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