Belfast Telegraph

Scotland v Germany: We'll be flying when Germans arrive, says Gordon Strachan

By Ronnie Esplin

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan insists Friday's hold-up in Georgia has had no effect on preparations for the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany at Hampden Park on Monday night.

The Scots dropped into fourth place in Group D, one point behind Republic of Ireland, following their unexpected 1-0 defeat in Tbilisi as the Germans went top with a 3-1 home win over Poland.

Afterwards, Strachan's squad had to wait in the airport for three hours until their plane turned up, with the players and officials arriving back in Glasgow at 6am on Saturday.

After training at the national stadium, the Scotland boss was adamant that his plans to take on the world champions had been unaffected.

"It had no impact on the schedule whatsoever in terms of our training and preparation for this game," he said. "Team training never got changed. It was still at four o'clock (on Saturday) and it went the same way."

If preparations remained intact, hopes of qualification for France next summer suffered took a blow against the Georgians.

However, Strachan claimed any residual anger about the performance dissipated in those scheduled training sessions.

The former Scotland midfielder said: "We trained and (players) got rid of their anger at not playing, angry at the way they played - anything they were angry about, they got it out (on Saturday), which was good.

"I was the same. I started picking the team, thinking I have a good player that can go in there and there. So you have to suffer and we have suffered a bit.

"But I have looked at it again and I will say it again, we didn't do enough to win the game but we definitely did enough not to lose the game and that has been confirmed by a lot of knowledgeable people I know in the game."

Strachan confirmed he was of a mind to freshen things up as he reiterated that, in his view, only the performance in the final third in Georgia was below par.

"The build-up in the first two thirds was good - the last third wasn't at the best," the former Celtic and Southampton boss said. "It has to improve only in the last third. We didn't get many strikes at goal, but neither did they.

"Whatever you say about that, the work-rate with this squad is unquestionable.

"These guys give up their time to come along and play for zero money and you have to admire what they do because international football is a lot harder from when I played, that's for sure."

Belfast Telegraph