Football - Scottish fans no closer to being repaid for loyalty

The sight of Scotland's fans going out of their way to support their uninspiring national team only to witness a 2-0 World Cup qualifying loss and miss out on another major tournament is nothing new.

Reuters
Football - Scottish fans no closer to being repaid for loyalty
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Scotland fans

Bare-chested supporters shovelled snow off the pitch to ensure Tuesday's qualifier against Serbia could go ahead before Scotland became the first European team to be eliminated.

When he was appointed in January manager Gordon Strachan said it was time the players repaid the loyalty of their world-famous 'Tartan Army' fans by qualifying for a first big tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

Strachan and his side were left to face the harsh reality that their next opportunity will not be until Euro 2016.

"I'm always disappointed after the games but I can see the picture clearer now. I don't think anyone has a problem with the fact that we have to rebuild and start again," Strachan told the BBC.

"That's not because of any manager that has come before, it's just the state of Scottish football and where we are at the moment," added the former Scottish international.

In Strachan's favour as he attempts to guide Scotland to Euro 2016 in France is the fact 24 teams, not 16, will compete.

The former Manchester United player was also upbeat about the young players coming through the ranks.

"We're going to have to rebuild and find a new group of players along with the ones who have done well here," said Strachan.

"It's a hard job but tonight there are loads of things I think I can work with. The fact is we've had young players coming in over the last couple of games and doing well.

"If we put together the younger players coming through with the experienced ones we have a strong squad."

Strachan mentioned defender Grant Hanley and debutants Liam Bridcutt and George Boyd as names to watch in the future, especially with more established names like Charlie Adam struggling to get on the pitch.

The fight for places bodes well for the future said Strachan.

"Charlie Adam is not getting a game and he came on and I thought he did really well. So there are some positives."

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