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Best Foot Forward
Members of the mutual appreciation society; Gordon Strachan and Igor Stimac can see positive things for Scotland ahead
Gordon Strachan knows Scotland have to be "on the front foot" in their final World Cup qualifier against Croatia tonight to maintain progress under his stewardship. Scotland have yet to pick up three points fro a home game in the current World Cup qualification campaign. Sitting in fifth place in Group A means Scotland have no chance of going to the finals in Brazil next summer. However, the 1-0 win over Igor Stimac's side in June and the 2-1 away win in Macedonia in their last qualifier injected confidence into the Scotland squad. The confidence has not been affected by the result of the friendly meeting with England at Wembley or a home qualifying loss to group winners Belgium in between. Strachan believes delivering the second half of a double over Croatia "would say that we are doing okay" but to do that he will have to take the game to the visitors. He said: "Away from home we have done a lot of good things. We have a couple of systems that the players can use and we will use them in the next qualifying campaign. We will have to change the system (against Croatia). Not by much, but there is more emphasis on us when we get the ball to be positive. We will have to be more on the front foot. There will be more onus on us and that could leave us a bit exposed at times but that's what you have to do as the home side. If you want to progress in tournaments, you have to try and win your home ties at least."Scotland have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France but Strachan's opposite number believes the future for Scotland is bright. The former Derby and West Ham defender, Stimac said: "You can expect him good things with Gordon as the manager. He is a key man for your success. You can already see that he is constructing the team for the next qualifiers. Before him, you didn't look well to be honest. I wasn't happy that the last manager was going and Gordon came in. I knew that changes would be made and your team would perform in a different way and he is putting things in the right place. I am quite sure that Scotland will be tough opponents in the next qualifiers."
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