Scottish Gossip: Scotland, World Cup play-off hopes, Strachan, Robertson

Football gossip


Gordon Strachan says his Scotland players didn't celebrate their late win against Slovakia - because they know they still have work to do to secure a play-off place for the 2018 World Cup finals.

"There was no euphoria," says the Scotland manager. "It wasn't that. It's just satisfaction, a quiet satisfaction. There was no singing and dancing and high five hand-slapping. It was really just a glow of satisfaction."

Slovenia star Valter Birsa says Scotland deserved to reach the World Cup finals in Russia because they are better than England. "They [Scotland] gave us more problems than England and Slovakia," says the Chievo player. (Sun)

Scotland full-back Andrew Robertson has vowed to play through the pain barrier in Slovenia after sustaining a wrist injury during the victory against Slovakia. The Liverpool defender finished Thursday's game with strapping on his right wrist and hand. Daily Express

Kieran Tierney says Scotland manager Gordon Strachan was "spot on" to substitute him during the win against Slovakia in order to give the national side a greater attacking threat down the right flank. "Playing there [right back] limits me in an attacking sense as Andy Robertson goes up all the time on the other side," says the Celtic defender. Herald, subscription required

Scotland players celebrate against Slovakia
Gordon Strachan says his Scotland players are gunning for a play-off place

James McArthur has praised the Tartan Army for retaining faith Gordon Strachan's Scotland side against Slovakia. "They tried to help us, to push us on and that was a special feeling at the end," said the Crystal Palace midfielder. Daily Mail

Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon is taking nothing for granted in the national side's pursuit of a World Cup play-off place because of painful memories of a defeat by Italy. Gordon featured in a Euro 2008 qualifier at Hampden when the Italians ended Scotland's dreams of clinching a place in the finals. Sun

Steve Clarke is some bookies' favourite to succeed Lee McCulloch as Kilmarnock manager. Clarke has been out of football since a caretaker spell in charge of Aston Villa last season. Daily Record

Kilmarnock have interviewed Mixu Paatelainen and Gary Holt for the Rugby Park managerial vacancy. Paatelainen enjoyed a nine-month spell in charge at Kilmarnock six years ago before managing Finland. Daily Mail, print edition

Slovakia defender Martin Skrtel believes Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has played a part in reviving Scotland's World Cup qualification hopes. The former Liverpool defender, who worked under Rodgers at Anfield, insists Rodgers' influence is paying dividends. Evening Times

Steve Clarke
Steve Clarke has been linked with Kilmarnock's managerial vacancy

Gordon Strachan could freshen up his starting XI to face Slovenia by drafting in John McGinn or Callum McGregor for the crucial World Cup qualifier. Herald, subscription required


Ricky Burns' fight against Anthony Crolla at the Manchester Arena tonight is a make-or-break affair for both, according to Burns' manager Alex Morrison. Daily Record

Meanwhile, Crolla has dismissed suggestions he and Burns are risking their legacies when they fight. The National, subscription required