SCOTT BROWN has made a passionate defence of Gordon Strachan by describing him as the only man to lead Scotland and insisting he should keep his job even if the national team don’t beat Slovenia.

The country’s flimsy hopes of reaching next summer’s World Cup in Russia will be ended if Sunday evening brings anything other than three points. A failure to do so would surely mean a change at the top.

Brown, who will win his 52nd cap at Hampden, has been a constant supporter of Strachan throughout the difficult last two years which have seen Scotland’s fortunes plummet; however, he firmly believes there is nobody out there who could do a better job.

Brown said: “Everyone just wants change here and there, but it’s us that goes onto the park, he puts his faith in us, and we are the ones that need to go and do the business for him. So a lot of the blame has to go on our shoulders as well.

“He’s got respect, and everyone has got respect for him. As soon as you go on that training ground, you work hard, and you listen. You can have a little bit of banter with him off the park, but as soon as you cross that line it is serious, it is make or break.

“The wee man has been unbelievable since he’s been with us. Look at this week – you have 27 lads turning up for training, because they know his training is brilliant, and they like his manner about the place, the way he is, his witty banter.

"I remember when ten players would pull out of every squad. It’s a good place to be but we just need to get winning games.”

Brown did not attempt to say he was unaware that Strachan’s job was on the line on Sunday evening.

He said: “There is always that – it’s in the back of your mind. That’s the reason we need to make sure we go out there and do it for him. I know we want to do it for the fans, but we want to try to keep Gordon here as long as possible, for what he has done for me, and what he has done for a lot of the lads as well.

"You’ve got a guy like Darren Fletcher, who wasn’t getting a game, but now he is back in and right back in the mould, playing brilliant for West Brom and for Scotland. It’s good to have that experience and these people around the dressing room.

It was Strachan who paid a record transfer fee between Scottish clubs a little over ten years ago to lure Brow from Hibernian to Celtic Park.

The pair have enjoyed a close relationship since they first worked together at Celtic in 2007, even if Brown wasn’t sure how he was going to get on with his new boss.

Brown said: “I was a wee bit scared. I’d seen a few of his press conferences and I thought, ‘right, this could be good.’ I met him at Celtic Park and I loved the way he was with me. I had a lot of time for him. Our relationship has blossomed over the years and it’s still going strong now.

“And who would have signed me for £4.5 million…he’s the daft bugger who did. So I think he’s got that wee bit of faith in me.

"For me, I’ve enjoyed every single moment with him. His training is what I will try to do, when I’m a manager somewhere else. You learn off the best, and he is the best in the business.

"Even though he is getting on, he is still learning and he is still improving. He looks at different styles, different formations, and different ways to play. He’s not stuck in the blocks, he’s a manager who is looking to go places, and he wants to get us to the Euros and to the World Cup.