SLOVAKIA Head Coach Jan Kozak reckons Scotland’s revitalised World Cup bid is due to the Celtic influence.

Defender Kieran Tierney was the only Hoops player in Gordon Strachan’s line-up when they were thumped 3-0 last October by next week’s Hampden opponents.

Since that collapse, the Scotland international team has been dominated by Parkhead performers such as Craig, Gordon, Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest, Leigh Griffiths and Tierney who are all in the squad for the clash a week on Thursday.

The Celtic Six starred in the recent qualifying victories over Lithuania and Malta. Three victories from four undefeated matches have breathed life into the nation’s hopes of finishing in the play-offs to reach Russia next year.

The Slovakian gaffer said: “The philosophy of the Scotland team has changed after we beat them 3-0.

“he body of the team is made up by Celtic players and they have a wide range. They’re are now playing really well.

“I do not want to talk about individuals because football is a team game. The Scottish team has a strong team with a lot of personalities, starting with the goalkeepers, with great defence and ending with the excellent Leigh Griffiths as striker.

“They have a team that is self-confident and they also prove this with results. The Scots are a challenging opponent.”


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This week, ‘A Celtic State of Mind’ pays tribute to The Quality Street Gang.

In the first of a two-part series, Paul John Dykes interviews Billy Murdoch, Bobby Wraith, HughMcKellar and Lou Macari to discuss one of the finest crops of youngsters ever to emerge from Celtic Park.


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