Strachan's side face Macedonia in Skopje on Tuesday night needing a result to get off the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.
The players' pride has evidently taken a blow from their position in Group A - which came as a result of Macedonia's win over Wales on Friday and Scotland's subsequent defeat by leaders Belgium.
They have just two games left to avoid inflicting further damage on Scotland's international status with second-placed Croatia due to visit Hampden next month.
But Strachan is focusing his attention on learning about his players and teaching them what he expects instead of being obsessed with the table.
When asked how important it was to get off the bottom, Strachan said: "It's important to go and win every game you play or perform, and if you do that you will feel good about yourself.
"If you don't perform or don't win, then you don't feel good and that's when you take a step backwards.
"But the bigger picture, we have to try people out and try things. We might as well do it now. There is no point doing things in a year's time - that is confusing to the players.
"We get it sorted now and find a system that suits this group of players, plus maybe another four or five we can call on or who might force themselves in.
"We must get a squad that suits these players here. I feel more and more like when I say something the boys automatically know what I mean, what kind of shape we go into, the terminology we use."
Despite having one eye on the qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championship, Strachan insists he is not neglecting the immediate aim of moving up the table - Scotland still in with a slim chance of finishing third.
"I can work with both," he said. "I can work with winning and trying to win and I can work with trying to progress as well. You don't do one or another, you can do both."
Scotland's victory in Croatia in June gave Strachan's project a huge boost and there was encouragement from their 3-2 friendly defeat by England.
And he does not feel they have regressed as a result of their 2-0 defeat by Belgium at Hampden.
"At times we looked like we could win but at times we looked like we were playing a good, top side," Strachan said. "But we took a lot of positives from the game and if I can tweak it here and tweak it there and add a few players to our squad we will be fine.
"We have not gone back the way. It has levelled out on that one. I actually think we had five, six, seven performances and there was one or two away from decent performances, a slip here and a slip there.
"But this whole thing is all about getting to understand players better, which I am doing. They understand me better. I want to get to a state like a club side.
"And to do that you need to know the players well. I'm getting to know the players who you can definitely rely on, no matter the circumstances.
"So I'm getting all that now, which is good. Better to get that now so I know in year's time we will be ready.
"We are making progress as a group, getting to know each other, and understanding what the training means. It's quite intensive.
"I keep hearing about rest, we have no time to rest. We have got to train and get ourselves together. I think at this time of year you can work a bit harder and quite intensive. They have only had one day off in eight days."
Captain Scott Brown already knew Strachan well having been signed by the 56-year-old for Celtic. And he has seen his manager impart his wisdom throughout his time as national team coach.
"I see it every day in training," he said. "The gaffer goes around each lad individually and tells them how he wants them to play, when he wants us to press, when he wants us to defend, and how he wants everyone to get on the ball. We are also giving him a bit of input on how we play at our own club.
"It's been high tempo, we have had double sessions and it has been enjoyable. The gaffer has done his part and now it's our turn to do our part."