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Scotland must commit to the long game warns Strachan

By Ronnie Esplin

Gordon Strachan wants Scotland to be 90-minute men in their already-crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovakia. The Scotland boss was happy with most of the 5-1 win in Malta in their Group F opener and the second half of the 1-1 draw against Lithuania on Saturday, which required an 89th-minute leveller from substitute James McArthur.

Strachan confirmed he will make personnel changes for the game in Trnava tonight against the section's second seeds, who are smarting after losing their opening two fixtures, while captain Darren Fletcher will have a fitness test on a thigh injury.

The former Celtic manager said: "So far, of the two games, three quarters has been good.

"In the Malta game, apart from a couple of minutes in the game, it was good, professional, I liked it.

"The second half the other day, a lot of crosses, chances, excitement, we got that.

"So three quarters have been good so we have to take it into 90 minutes.

"The ball won't be going so long and it was not just Lithuania, we joined in as well," he said.

"There was a few good performances, their attitude was first-class again, going a goal down to come back and they dealt with the body blow of the goal in Malta.

"We would like to create the shots, crosses and chances we had in the second half against Lithuania, away from home, that would be good.

"But we try every time to win the game."

  • Slovakia v Scotland, World Cup Group F: Štadión Antona Malatinského, Tonight, 7.45pm

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