Gordon Strachan felt like a fan during Scotland's comfortable win over Lithuania

02 September 2017 12:54

Boss Gordon Strachan thanked his Scotland players for allowing him to enjoy the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania like a "spectator."

More than 2,000 Scotland fans headed to Vilnius to see Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong score his first goal in dark blue with a header from a Leigh Griffiths corner in the 25th minute and Liverpool new Andy Robertson curl in a glorious second goal five minutes later.

Midfielder James McArthur added a third from close range in the 72nd minute to clinch three valuable Group F points with three fixtures remaining.

After seven fixtures, Strachan's men have 11 points, still four behind second-placed Slovakia, who beat Slovenia 1-0.

The Scots moved into third place above Slovenia and face minnows Malta at Hampden Park on Monday, before hosting Slovakia and travelling to take on Slovenia in what will be two tense games in October.

Afterwards Strachan said: "I am really pleased, the fact that (at) one point I could become a spectator to enjoy the football.

"It is not often you can do that as a manager but that was the performance that allowed us to do that. The team were excellent.

"It is getting to be an exciting end to the group stages which, a couple of months ago, we didn't see that."

Asked if it was the most complete performance of his four-year tenure as national team manager, the former Scotland midfielder said:

"In pure footballing terms I think so.

"We have had football performances and not produced chances and gritty performances we all remember against Germany, Croatia and England.

"The technical ability, we have got a bit of that but our main objective tonight was to use the energy.

"The team has changed dramatically in the last 18 months with the energy we have got in them.

"The technical side was good but I think the energy blew the Lithuanian team away.

"But there had to be a lot of hard work to get to that place and at the end they still had the energy.

"I feel we are getting better and better."

Strachan started with six Celtic players in his line-up and admits the winning mentality at the Parkhead club was influential.

"It's [momentum] and the success of Celtic and doing well," he told Sky Sports.

"Their players are playing together in top games, understanding what it needs to be a top player, the bravery you need.

"Add that to the other guys that were there tonight, everybody joined in."

Source: PA