herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Gordon Strachan side won't risk Scottish injuries against Qatar

Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan has told his men to take no risks with their personal safety when they square up to Qatar in Friday night's international friendly at Easter Road.

The Dark Blues will limber up for next weekend's vital Euro 2016 qualifier with Ireland by taking on the 2022 World Cup hosts in Edinburgh.

But Strachan is determined not to lose any of his top troops ahead of the Group D clash in Dublin which could prove decisive to Scotland's attempts to reach the finals in France.

He said: "It's only common sense that if you see something coming that you might (get out of the way).

"I had a radar on me that I could see a tackle coming a mile away - I just hope the players have got the same radar.

"I think the lads will give everything in terms of physical ability. But I really don't want to see people clattering into each other.

"They have to be sensible. But when you let players go and enjoy a game then you never know. They will go for things. I don't think I can say to Scott Brown don't tackle somebody.

"But there might be points during the game when you say that tackle isn't worth going for."

Six members of his group have not played since the English Championship season ended on May 2 but the manager insists the Qatar friendly will ensure there is no rustiness when they run out at the Aviva Stadium.

"We're viewing this game as an extension of our training," he said. "We have trained twice today, which you normally wouldn't do before an international game.

"But I can't treat it as a normal international game with points at stake [against Ireland coming up]. Some of these guys have been off for four weeks and I've got to treat (Qatar) as an extension of the training.

"The guys' condition is fantastic though. I don't need GPS to see how far they have run. I don't need heart monitors. I can tell by eye who is fit. The fitness levels are good."

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher and Hull left-back Andy Robertson both sat out parts of yesterday morning's session after suffering "bumps".

Strachan expects both to shake off their bruises in time to make kick-off in Leith - and he is already close to finalising his plans for facing Martin O'Neill's side.

"It is going to be an intense game," he said. "You need to be fit to play in this game, you need to have experience to play in it and you need to relish it.

"I don't have a problem with that last bit, everybody wants to play.

"Am I near the team for Ireland? I'm not too far away."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News