Scotland: Andrew Robertson urges Gordon Strachan to stay as coach

Scotland defender Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson has played in all but two of Scotland's 2018 World Cup qualifiers
World Cup qualifying: Scotland v Slovakia
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Thursday, 5 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Scotland defender Andrew Robertson wants coach Gordon Strachan to stay beyond the World Cup campaign even if the side fail to reach the play-offs.

Robertson believes Strachan's enjoyment of working with the players in training will encourage him to stay on.

"I'd love the gaffer to stay and I'm sure he will stay because he loves his job," Robertson, 23, told BBC Scotland.

The Liverpool defender also says he is "ready to compete" with Kieran Tierney for the Scotland left-back role.

"I love working under the manager, with the enthusiasm he brings through the week," added the defender. "He can't wait to see us all because it means he gets back on the training ground as well.

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We're causing trouble on both flanks - Robertson

"[Assistants] Mark [McGhee] and Callum [Davidson] are brilliant as well and we're all right behind them. They're right behind us, we're all united, that's what we need. I don't think that's going to change.

"If this campaign finishes as a positive or a negative, we'll be looking forward to the Euro campaign."

The former Hull City defender has played in all but two of Scotland's Group F games, and in the past four of those matches Celtic left-back Tierney has fitted into the side either at right-back or centre-back.

Only three years separate Robertson and Tierney in age and they are expected to be mainstays of the national team for years to come.

Robertson is ready to compete with his younger international team-mate in the event of them vying for the left-back role.

"I don't know if the gaffer had an open mind to trying us both and maybe saw my right peg," Robertson said of the prospect of him switching to right-back.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan at training
Robertson believes Strachan's enthusiasm for the job remains undimmed

"KT would prefer to play left-back, it's his natural position, but since he's gone over there he's been different class.

"It's been working out quite well, but there might come a time when both of us need to compete for the left-back spot. If we do that, we'll be ready to compete.

"Just now, it's working quite well that we're on both flanks and causing trouble down both sides. It's up to the manager if that continues, but we're happy with it.

"I've watched KT a lot and he's a great young talent. There's a lot more to come from him as well."

'All the boys are buzzing'

Robertson admits Scotland started the campaign modestly and that there is still a sense of regret at the 1-1 draw with Lithuania 12 months ago, but he says the players deserve credit for reviving the team's qualification hopes.

If Scotland defeat Slovakia on Thursday and then Slovenia on Sunday, Strachan's side will finish second in Group F and be likely to feature in the play-offs for next year's finals in Russia.

"We had a wee dip at the start, Lithuania at home will always be the one we look back on," Robertson added.

Scotland defender Kieran Tierney
Tierney has played on the right side of defence to accommodate Robertson on the left

"The fans and the press thought this was over again, but credit to the boys and the staff, we've put ourselves in a position going into the last two games where we've got a chance of the play-offs.

"With the last four or five games, if we're not feeling optimistic then will we ever be? There have been good performances and more importantly good results.

"You can see it's a big week, all the boys and the staff are buzzing about. There's a real feel-good factor about it, but we need to go out on Thursday and do the job, then hopefully we're celebrating at the end."

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