Fans who booed Chris Martin don't understand football, says Gordon Strachan

26 March 2017 11:08

Boss Gordon Strachan gave his backing to Chris Martin after the striker was booed on as substitute at Hampden Park before scoring a dramatic late World Cup qualifying winner for Scotland against Slovenia.

The clear noises of disapproval when the big forward replaced James Morrison in the 83rd minute turned to cheers five minutes later when he drilled in a low drive for a crucial 1-0 win.

It took Scotland on to seven points from five fixtures - the halfway stage of the campaign - and into fourth place, two points off Slovakia in second, ahead of the visit of Group F leaders England in June.

Strachan, who described Stuart Armstrong's debut as the "best Scottish debut I have ever seen" and the first half as "probably" the best during his tenure, said: " Kenny Dalglish used to get booed, Alan Hansen used to get booed, Gary McAllister used to get booed.

"A great club to be involved with, that one.

"If you can line up with them, that's fantastic.

"The starting point for him was when he made his debut. He understands what he brings to a team, but some people can't see it which is understandable.

"I don't understand cricket too much, but they tell me there are some real good players, but I don't understand the game.

"If you don't understand the game then you have a problem understanding what players are all about.

"It was a sweet moment for anyone who wanted to enjoy the victory, who wanted us to win, that was for them."

Defender Russell Martin had the ball in the net early in the first half, only to be punished for an infringement, before striker Leigh Griffiths twice hit the woodwork.

Time seemed to be running out for the home side in a less eventful second half before Chris Martin popped up with the crucial winner.

On Armstrong, Strachan said: "He did well, but there were other guys who were special as well.

"And we had to have special performance to play against a very good side, a physical side as well.

"They did everything they were asked and pushed to another level."

Slovenia boss Srecko Katanec admitted Scotland deserved to win, but was "not surprised " by the standard of the home side's performance.

He said: "We didn't show what we intended to show.

"We are not looking for alibis. We played under expectations.

"We weren't confident or aggressive and we didn't have a player who would take the ball.

"But I am responsible for the result."

Source: PA