Belfast Telegraph

Scott Brown desperate for Scotland to finish with win

By Ronnie Esplin

Scott Brown is hoping to captain Scotland to their first home win of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign against Croatia at Hampden Park tonight to prove they are better than their fifth-placed position in Group A suggests.

Gordon Strachan's side have no chance of making the finals in Brazil next summer ahead of the final game of a campaign which never got up and running after a poor start under previous boss Craig Levein.

There is renewed optimism around the Scots' camp following the 2-1 win over Macedonia in Skopje in their last game and the 1-0 victory over Croatia in June, an optimism that has withstood defeats to England and Belgium in between.

Nevertheless, fourth-seeded Scotland are one point behind Wales and one head of Macedonia, as they look for their first competitive win in front of their own fans for two years.

Asked if Scotland's placing was representative of their abilities, Celtic captain Brown said: "Not in the slightest. It has been a hard group for us and we have not done ourselves justice.

"It has not been the best campaign overall but the last four or five results have proved that we are going places.

"It has been a long time since we had a home win so it would be good to get one under the belt.

"We have to play to our strengths and show what we can do.

"The main thing is, we are creating chances and we will get there eventually.

"The away games have been good, so hopefully we can start to do that at home."

Boss Strachan claims a double over the Croats "would say that we are doing okay".

"We will have to change the system (against Croatia)," he said.

"Not by much, but there is more emphasis on us when we get the ball to be positive. We will have to be more on the front foot."

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