Ikechi Anya: Scotland keen to build on Poland game

Scotland's Ikechi Anya in action against Poland. Picture: PA
Scotland's Ikechi Anya in action against Poland. Picture: PA
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IKECHI Anya feels Scotland have given themselves a good platform to build on in their European Championship qualifying campaign.

Scotland have four points from a possible nine following their 2-2 draw in Poland on Tuesday night, but sit above world champions Germany on goal difference in Group D.

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They have got two tough away games out of the way and can move level on points with the Republic of Ireland when they host Martin O’Neill’s team at Celtic Park on November 14.

Anya, who set up Shaun Maloney’s goal in Warsaw, told www.uefa.com: “We took a lot of heart from the Germany performance (2-1 loss in Dortmund last month), but obviously we didn’t get any points. On Saturday we beat Georgia 1-0 and now we got this point.

“So four points from a possible nine, taking into account that we’ve played Germany and Poland, is a good return and we’ll try to build on that come November.”

Scotland survived a late onslaught after Arkadiusz Milik cancelled out Steven Naismith’s goal with 14 minutes left, but manager Gordon Strachan was pleased with his team’s overall display.

Although Poland created more chances, the official UEFA statistics show Scotland had the majority of possession and a pass completion rate of 92 per cent.

Scotland looked comfortable on the ball and Maloney’s goal was the culmination of two passes from Steven Fletcher and Anya that ripped Poland apart in an instant.

And the Watford winger reckons the Scots can be pleased with their night’s work.

“At the start of the match, to get a point in Poland, who had just beaten Germany 2-0 and we know how good they are after playing them in March, the majority of Scotland fans would be happy,” Anya said.

“On saying that, when you’ve got 15 minutes left and you’re 2-1 up away from home, it’s a bit disappointing, but I’m sure we’ll reflect when we meet up in November, that it will be a good point come the end of the campaign.

“They went ahead with a good goal, but we showed a lot of character to bring it back to 1-1 and even to take it to 2-1.

“Towards the end I think we were a bit tired and they managed to get their second, but we showed a lot of character to hold on for 2-2 because towards the end they were probably the better side.”

{http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/bt-sport-q-a-van-dijk-celtic-in-europe-hibs-1-3526485 | • Football mailbag: have your footballing questions answered by a panel of BT Sport experts in our video Q&A. Email us at online@scotmsan.com or tweet us @thescotsman with the hashtag #btsportqa|Football mailbag: have your footballing questions answered by a panel of BT Sport experts in our video Q&A. Email us at online@scotsman.com or tweet us @thescotsman with the hashtag #btsportqa}