Gordon Strachan: Players ‘physically and mentally’ ready

Gordon Strachan says his players are ready for England clash. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey
Gordon Strachan says his players are ready for England clash. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey
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Gordon Strachan claims Scotland are “physically and mentally” ready for their World Cup qualifier against England at Hampden Park tomorrow.

Strachan has seen enough from his charges this week to suggest his side can gain revenge for their 3-0 defeat to their neighbours at Wembley last October to reignite their hopes of qualifying from Group F.

He said: “The enthusiasm the players have had and the time they’ve put in this week...they’re ready, they’re ready for the game, physically and mentally.

“We have real assets in our team and real assets as a group. It’s going to be well used tomorrow, we’ve got to use what we’re good at.

“What we have in our group is enthusiasm, fitness and determination so we must use that. Within that we must relax when we have the ball, have no fear when we have the ball.”

Strachan, whose side lie four points adrift of leaders England in the standings, is wary of the threat posed by Tottenham’s prolific striker Harry Kane.

The 23-year-old has finished as the Premier League’s top-scorer in the last two seasons and Strachan admits their best chance of nullifying him may be to dominate possession and strangle the service to him.

Strachan added: “I’ve been a big fan of Harry Kane for a long time. I’m sure that Harry Kane has a lot of confidence in himself, which he should have.

“If you keep the ball more than them that’s one way of doing it, if you have the ball at the other end then their attacking players have less chance of scoring.”

Strachan revealed he had no inspiring team talk ready to go, adding: “It’s something you don’t plan in advance, you feel it.

“You feel the atmosphere and you have to talk it from there, so there’s no planned Churchillian speech in the back of my mind at the moment, something kind of materialises.

“Alex Ferguson, I’m sure, never planned some of these team talks well in advance. I’m convinced he never.”