Scotland: Stuart McCall hails ‘remarkable’ change

Stuart McCall has hailed the 'remarkable' turnaround in the national side's performance since Gordon Strachan's arrival. Picture: SNS
Stuart McCall has hailed the 'remarkable' turnaround in the national side's performance since Gordon Strachan's arrival. Picture: SNS
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Scotland coach Stuart McCall admits the change in the national team’s recent performances has been “remarkable”.

Scotland finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with three wins in four games and a second victory over play-off qualifiers Croatia put them up to fourth place in the group.

McCall came in as part of Gordon Strachan’s backroom team with Scotland on two points following their first four games, form which saw Craig Levein sacked as manager.

Scotland then lost 2-1 at home to Wales and lost in Serbia before a shock victory in Zagreb in June sparked an upturn in fortunes.

The Motherwell manager said: “It’s been a remarkable turnaround because the first 30 minutes against Wales, in the first competitive game, was probably the worst game I have seen or been in charge of or been part of a team.

“We couldn’t even pass it from A to B and we were really poor.

“The good thing about that is it could only got better and thankfully it has done.

“There have been so many positives. Ikechi Anya has caught the eye; Russell Martin, who was on the fringes as a full-back, is now playing regularly at centre-back; young Grant Hanley, who is still a bit raw, has held down a place and kept a clean sheet against Croatia; a fully fit Scott Brown coming back has had a big impact.

“But you can look through the squad and there have been a lot of positives.

“In a way for Gordon it’s probably good we haven’t got a competitive game in the next few weeks because if the likes of (Shaun) Maloney, (Steven) Fletcher, (Steven) Whittaker and James Forrest had all been available, it would be a tough team to pick because there have been some terrific performances.

“We can’t get carried away but there are certainly some encouraging signs.”