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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Strachan: It's a long time since I've felt as bad as this

SCOTLAND manager Gordon Strachan was today trying to piece together the lessons his side must learn from the disappointment of their 3-2 defeat against England at Wembley.

Strachan wants his team to show more steel and concentration after throwing away a 2-1 lead and squandering the opportunity to record a result which would have had fans buzzing for years.

Scotland twice led through goals from James Morrison and Kenny Miller, with Theo Walcott levelling in between, but second-half goals from Manchester United's Danny Welbeck and Southampton's Rickie Lambert saw Roy Hodgson's side emerge victorious in the match to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.

Strachan said: "I feel huge disappointment for everybody. It could have been a result you'd be talking about in 40 years' time. There are things I liked but our concentration went at times. That was the defining thing.

"I discount the last 20 minutes when we were trying everything, throwing everything left, right and centre, it got a bit disorganised then.

"We were trying to protect a few players because I didn't want to send them back to their clubs with groin strains or hamstring strains. When we lost a couple of our more experienced players the game went away from us."

Lapses

Strachan put England's second-half goals, both headers, one from a free-kick and the other from a corner, down to defensive lapses, but also praised the resolve of Hodgson's side.

"You have to give them credit for putting the ball in the right place at the right time," said Hodgson. "People think it is easy to take free-kicks and corner kicks, it's not. Everybody's watching and to be able to deliver it and strong enough to head it you have got to give them credit for that.

Strachan, however, can take solace from the impressive work of his developing squad, despite his side being unable to qualify for the World Cup.

"When it went to 2-1 I genuinely thought we were going to win the game," said Strachan.

"I forgot this was a friendly. It doesn't feel like that now. It's a long time since I've felt as bad as this."

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