GORDON Strachan is adamant that Scotland can beat Germany in their opening Euro 2016 qualifying tie in Dortmund.
The manager said after Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Nigeria that recent performances and results had encouraged him to the extent he now thought his players were capable of winning any one-off game against any opponent, even the country ranked second in the world and one of the favourites to win the World Cup in Brazil. Scotland open their European Championship qualifying campaign against the Group D top seeds and favourites on September 7.
"Look, we are all sensible enough to know that Germany will qualify from this group," said Strachan [Poland, Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Gibraltar are also in the section]. "It'll be up to the rest of us to get on with it and fight it out between ourselves. But, that said, we will go into this Germany game in confident mood and that shows you that we have progressed.
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"We now look ahead to a game like this and say 'we can beat these'. We now feel that on our day we can beat anyone so long as we are organised, playing at our best and carrying a bit of luck. We also know we are capable of getting beat by anyone, too. And that's a good thing because it reminds you that we can't afford to relax or let sloppiness set in.
"But, yes, if you had told me a year ago after those first games against Wales and Serbia that we had to go to Germany next then I would have said 'oh no, do we really?' But not now. Now that's not the case.
"I like where we are right now. I like working with the lads. I liked watching them against Nigeria, trying out a couple of things and seeing that the players understood what I was looking for. It wasn't perfect but it was good. I do feel we have come a long way as a group over a short period of time. I feel we are more like a club side now and that's what I was looking to do when I took the job. When I started, it didn't feel like that."