SIR Alex Ferguson has backed Leigh Griffiths to blast Alex McLeish’s new-look Scotland back on track.

The Celtic attacker had to sit out the recent friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary with a calf injury, but Fergie reckons he will play a key role in the nation’s Euro 2020 bid.

The former Manchester United boss, who was in charge of the nation during the 1986 World Cup Finals following the tragic death of Jock Stein, said: “The problem for Scotland in the last 20 years has been an absence of top strikers and centre-backs.

“But now we have Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna having a go in defence and he did really well. Oli McBurnie also showed something really different up front.

“However, Leigh Griffiths is the best striker we’ve had for many years, without question, as he has a natural goal instinct.“We have half-a-dozen decent young midfielders of a reasonably good standard and the future is better because Alex is giving them a chance.

“Against Holland recently, John McGinn was one of our better players and Callum McGregor, at Celtic, has potential. They have energy, which is terrific to see in midfield.

“Missing out on Euro 2020 doesn’t bear thinking about, but we’re in a better position now. Sometimes failing is the best incentive.”

Fergie added: “Personally, I always felt I was better when we lost. The next morning? I woke up and said: ‘It’s not going to happen again’. The players can do it, if they’ve got the will and determination to back their new manager because they’re only going to have the one boss.

“It’s not like club football where you could lose five games and lose your job. Scotland are going to give Alex the opportunity to see if he can take us to the next stage by qualifying and I really hope they can do that.”

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