Gordon Strachan: Scotland boss wants friendly before Slovenia game

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan takes in Hibs' Championship match against Dundee United
Strachan has watched matches at Hibernian and Hearts in recent weeks

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan hopes to play a friendly before their "must-win" World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in March to give some players game-time.

The Scots are four points adrift of their second-placed opponents, with four of their next five games at home.

"We have to start winning games at home. And we have to win the next one, that's for sure," Strachan said.

"We'll probably play a friendly before it, because at the moment we have a lot of players not getting a regular game."

Scotland started their campaign with an encouraging 5-1 win in Malta, but after a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Lithuania, damaging 3-0 away defeats by Slovakia in October and group leaders England in November have left their qualifying hopes hanging by a thread.

"Two or three weeks after the England game, we have six strikers who we usually call on and only one played for their team that weekend," Strachan added.

"So that's why we'll have a friendly, so guys like that can have games.

"It's been a disappointing year but we have to put that aside now and look forward to this year. Whatever happens the players will give as much as they can."

Strachan succeeded Craig Levein in January 2013 and signed a two-year extension last summer after failing to lead the national side to Euro 2016.

Speculation over his future intensified after the defeats by Slovakia and England, before the Scottish FA gave the 59-year-old their "unanimous" backing to remain in the role.

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Strachan has won eight of his 20 competitive matches in charge, but only three - against Gibraltar, twice, and Malta - of the past 10.

"There's a huge bit of disappointment, that's for sure," he told Sky Sports. "You have to deal with that.

"I think that maybe a year previous, I thought we were so close to being a good team.

"I think we were playing like a team, we moved like a team together and that was a disappointment because I thought we were going to take it from there to become a right good side.

"Circumstances are against you sometimes, but we can't blame anyone else apart from ourselves."

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