Scotland: Gordon Strachan impact impresses Kenny Dalglish

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
Kenny Dalglish and Gordon Strachan
Dalglish says Scotland's results under Strachan have been "very positive"

Scotland's most-capped player Kenny Dalglish has hailed the impact of Gordon Strachan since taking over as national team manager.

Dalglish, who won 102 caps, believes recent performances including Sunday's narrow defeat by Germany show Strachan is in on the right track.

"Gordon's had a great start," said 63-year-old Dalglish.

"Obviously you gauge it through your national results and they've been very positive since Gordon came in."

The former Celtic striker believes there is a lot of mutual respect between Strachan and the Scotland players.

"He's got tremendous respect for the players and I think they also respect him," he explained. "I think that's reflected in the results.

"That also encourages boys and girls to take part in football - they've got the national team going well and there's people there that they can look up to. Everybody needs somebody to look up to and something to aim for.

Gordon Strachan and Kenny Dalglish in action for Scotland against New Zealand
Strachan and Dalglish in action for Scotland against New Zealand at the 1982 World Cup

"Scottish football is quietly moving forward off the pitch.

"You can't enjoy losing but to go to Germany and put on such a well acclaimed performance must be hugely rewarding for the players and I think it stands them in good stead for the matches coming up."

Watford winger Ikechi Anya scored Scotland's goal in the opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Dortmund after being played through by Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher.

And Dalglish, who spent the bulk of his playing career at Liverpool, says it's "helpful" for the national team to have more Scottish players plying their trade in England's top flight.

"It's important that you've got players that are playing at the top level and there's a few more playing in the Premier League than what there was a few years back," he said.

Dalglish also cited the examples of James McArthur, James McCarthy, Robert Snodgrass and Wes Hoolahan as evidence Scottish domestic football continues to be a breeding ground for international players.

Scotland's Snodgrass and Republic of Ireland's Hoolahan both had spells at Livingston while Hamilton Academical produced Scottish international McArthur and Hoolahan's international team-mate McCarthy.

"There are players there somewhere if you want to go look for them," added Scotland's joint-record scorer.