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'Nobody has disappointed me tonight,' says Strachan

GORDON Strachan last night described Scotland's 2-2 draw against Nigeria as the most potent attacking performance since he became manager.

Charlie Mulgrew accepts the congratulations of his team mates after opening the scoring with a cheeky flick at Craven Cottage. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS
Charlie Mulgrew accepts the congratulations of his team mates after opening the scoring with a cheeky flick at Craven Cottage. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Scotland completed their season with the last friendly before the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign begins in Germany in September, and it delivered a highly rewarding draw with Nigeria at Craven Cottage in London. Charlie Mulgrew and an Azubuike Egwuekwe own goal twice put Scotland ahead only for Nigeria to pull level near the end of each half, with their second goal coming in stoppage time. Derby County pair Chris Martin and Craig Forsyth made second-half debuts while Andrew Robertson was excellent at left-back.

Scotland have never scored more than two goals in any of Strachan's 12 games in charge but they made a number of openings last night.

"During the game, we were one pass away from a really great move," said Strachan. "We could have had four or five goals. That's the first time I've said that after a game. We had a lot of chances. I'd put the fact we didn't finish them off down to rustiness. In terms of what I saw and what we are trying do, in terms of movement and trying to get closer to the striker, I liked that. The shape we had when we didn't have the ball was good as well.

"Nobody has disappointed me tonight. Chris Martin gave us a new dimension. Midfielders like it when the ball goes up to someone like that. It's a new thing in football, the strikers are not scoring 40 or 50 goals a season. They score 20 or so but have to link up and let others score too. He is good that way.

"In terms of positive play, that's as good as it gets. We have been terrific as a unit before and had a few chances, but overall there was a bit of flair and imagination tonight against a really top side. Charlie's goal was terrific. It was luck in terms of the shot but he had to know where to send it. There is a lot to be proud of; I'm just disappointed we didn't get the win. Andrew Robertson and Kech [Ikechi Anya] were terrific down that left side. With hardly any caps between them, they're not physically big but they stood up and played the game. They didn't let them get close to them. Anya is terrific, a breath of fresh air. He radiates on the pitch and in the dressing room.

"I liked a lot of things I saw there. The only thing we had a problem with was the fact some of lads had not trained for three weeks. We lost a wee bit of fitness in the last 15 minutes."

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