Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Strachan's Scotland Are Heading to Dortmund Undaunted

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Strachan's Scotland Are Heading to Dortmund Undaunted

Article excerpt

Byline: Gavin McCafferty

SCOTLAND manager Gordon Strachan detects a fearless approach among his players as they prepare to face the world champions on their own patch.

Strachan feels his players are inspired rather than cowed by the prospect of beginning their European Championship qualifying campaign against Germany in Dortmund.

Scotland will go into Sunday's game unbeaten in six games since losing 2-0 to Belgium at Hampden on September 6 last year.

And he senses a belief that they can give Joachim Low's side a fright.

Strachan, who has lost Graham Dorrans to injury, said from the team's hotel near Glasgow: "I've been excited for a while and it's got better since I got to the training facilities and here with the players.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge now because I can sense the players are really looking forward to this game.

"So I'm encouraged by that. There seems to be no fear whatsoever in the camp. There's a reality obviously, we are playing the world champions. But there's no fear. I like that.

"But they know they have to work hard to get a result and that's been shown in the training this week.

"They are not scared of the occasion and where they have got to go. I was speaking to somebody last night that, when you play the game you have a fear of getting beat and when you have the ball, you have no fear. When the other team's got it you have a fear of getting beat or conceding a goal, but when you have the ball, you should have no fear whatsoever. I think that's the way we go into it."

Strachan, whose team have won in Croatia, Macedonia, Norway and Poland over the last 15 months, added: "I do believe the system we have can give people problems if we do it right. I don't think we need to change dramatically to play against anybody. It's a simple system when we're defending and we all know where to go.

"We've done a system not just to play one team in one style - we think the system can be used against any team."

Germany's triumphant return to action was spoiled by Argentina on Wednesday night, the beaten World Cup finalists going four up inside 50 minutes before holding on for a 4-2 win. …

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