GORDON STRACHAN admitted James McArthur’s late equaliser against Lithuania could be vital to Scotland’s chances of reaching the World Cup Finals in Russia in 2018.
The former Celtic manager watched the international team put in a dismal display in the 1-1 draw with Lithuania in front of a crowd of 35,966 at Hampden last night.unspecified-46
McArthur’s 89th-minute header means the Scots go into their trip to Slovakia with four points out of a possible six and Strachan reckoned the goal could be all-important in Group F.
He said: “It was exciting in the second-half, the first-half was a bit like an English Championship game where one team hits the ball at their strikers and the other team hits the ball at their strikers.
“It’s hard to play football when it goes from end-to-end like that. It was a nothing-nothing first-half, which is fine, it was okay.

“In the second-half, we got in some great positions, some great chances, great effort, good on the ball. They’ve had one or two shots at goal and scored with one of them.

“We’ve done really well to get back in the game, and, really, we should have won. So, I’ve got to say well done to the lads for dragging us back into the game, playing so well and nearly getting the winner.unspecified-39

“We had some good chances, and a wee bit of bad luck, as well. I thought well done, we stuck at it, going a goal behind is never easy, but this group is going to be like that and it could be a big point come the end.”

Strachan, however, accepted there would be negativity surrounding his side after a game they were expected to win.

He added: “I suppose there will be negativity with Slovenia drawing at Lithuania last month, negativity at Slovakia as well for their defeat tonight against Slovenia and England fans as well will probably be saying they should have scored eight against Malta!

“So, a lot of people will be going home a little disgruntled.”

Strachan also revealed that captain Darren Fletcher, who was replaced by McArthur at the interval after complaining of a thigh problem, will strugglle to be fit for the trip to Slovakia on Tuesday.

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