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Strachan's strike-force dilemma

GORDON Strachan hinted last night he will try either Jamie Mackie of Nottingham Forest or Ross McCormack of Leeds United in the lead striking role for Scotland in Skopje on Tuesday night.

The squad travels to Macedonia this lunchtime, with the Scotland manager speaking of testing alternative attacking options in the remaining two matches of their Group A campaign.

Leigh Griffiths has not had things entirely his own way in two thankless lone shifts against Croatia and Belgium, and Jordan Rhodes is thought more suited to playing in a two-man front line. Sunderland's Steven Fletcher - presumably the long-term inheritor of Kenny Miller's role - is still missing with an ankle injury.

"I think we have to try different people - but we are not blessed at the moment with those who people say must play," said Strachan.

"We have Jamie Mackie who has only played a couple of games for Notts Forest and didn't play that much last year with QPR, we have Jordan whose team were fourth bottom of the Championship last year, and Leigh, whose team are in League One. When you look at that, it is really hard work from where they are playing to go in against these fellows [Belgium].

"Jordan is at his best when he plays with another striker, with lots of people round about him, and lots of crosses. We can't do that because we don't get enough of the ball to play with two wide men and two up front and get crosses into the box. It leaves him, like many people, with a system which doesn't suit him."

The Scotland manager is expecting a difficult outing in Macedonia on a pitch deemed so poor on Friday night during their 2-1 win against Wales that Gareth Bale was not risked on it.

Robert Snodgrass is suspended for Tuesday's contest but Strachan has only one minor injury doubt for the match, with Charlie Adam having suffered a back spasm in training yesterday.

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