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Celtic legend Tom Boyd tips Scots to win with late set-piece


Tom Boyd with Alex Ferguson

Tom Boyd with Alex Ferguson

Tom Boyd with Alex Ferguson

AS A FORMER Scotland captain, Tom Boyd is of course keen for his nation to come through Saturday's test in Dublin and take a step towards France 2016.

But it's likely that his eyes will at times wander from the pitch and focus on the dugouts as Boyd, who played alongside Strachan with Scotland and under O'Neill at Celtic, is eager to see the battle of wits between the two characters.

"There is that edge to it, especially with both being successful Celtic managers in the past as well," says Boyd (right), who won 72 caps for Scotland (1990-2001).

"Managers like to get the better of their peers so that will certainly be an element, the bragging rights that come with that in terms of managers.

"They'll be putting on a nice public face for the cameras, the two ex-Celtic managers and all that but deep down, both want to win. Even if it is just for the bragging rights, they want to win. That doesn't change, that comes from your will to win, your desire to win. And if you do that, you get the bragging rights," added Boyd, who sees similarities between O'Neill and Strachan.

"They're both winners and you can see that coming right through them. They're enthusiastic about the game as well and have a real passion for their football. Martin comes alive on match day but Gordon is probably like that 24 hours a day. Even at training I hear. They think about the game very deeply, just so passionate about it.

"There are many ways to win a football game as we've seen down the years. So there's two contrasting styles there but in terms of their management, they're very, very passionate."

Boyd played under O'Neill for the tail end of his Celtic career and even thouygh it was the Derry native who effectively ended Boyd's time there, respect remains.

"I'd say I was getting old but Martin will say I was getting rubbish," Boyd joked.

"That was towards the end. He was great to work under, he treated you with respect as long as you treated him with respect as well."

Boyd retains respect for Ireland too but expects an away win. "Scotland will win 1-0 with a set-piece with ten minutes left.

"I think there will be a bit more quality in this one and undoubtedly there will be passion but Scotland by the odd goal."