Strachan must concentrate on Scotland team as whole says Willie Miller

Willie Miller. Picture: TSPL
Willie Miller. Picture: TSPL
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Former Scotland defender Willie Miller insists Gordon Strachan should concentrate on trying to extract the best from his squad as a whole, instead of yearning for a superstar who could help end the country’s long wait to reach a major finals.

During the recent friendlies, lost to Italy and France respectively, Strachan lamented 
not having a player such as Sweden talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Wales’ Gareth Bale, saying: “It’s not about teams, we have to produce individual players.”

However, Miller, who represented Scotland at the 1982 and 1986 World Cup finals, believes his former Aberdeen and national team colleague needs to focus all his energy on what he has got at his disposal.

“He’s not going to get one, is he?” said Miller, in reference to Strachan’s comments. “I’m sure Gordon, in his own way, would say he’s not going to get one. I can’t see any on the horizon. So, unless Gordon knows better than I do, he’s not going to get that. So he’s a manager who needs a complete team performance – and a team performing at a high level in every game. I think that’s what he’s got to concentrate on, rather than wishing he could have a Gareth Bale, a Thomas Muller or Robert Lewandowski.”

Asked if Scotland, who finished fourth in their Euro 2016 qualifying section, can progress from a World Cup qualifying group which includes England, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta to reach Russia, Miller said: “I think it’s a tough group.

“Are we going to top that group? The likelihood is no. Are we good enough to finish second? We’ve got a chance. But we’re going to have to put the best team together and they’ll have to play at their best.

“They’re going to have to play the way they did in the first 
half of the Euro qualifying campaign.

“Not the second half, when we didn’t match those performances – and that’s why we didn’t qualify, ultimately, though it was the Georgia result [a 1-0 defeat in Tbilisi] that really set us back.”