Croatia 0 Scotland 1 match report: Scots on high after shock win but boss wants more after World Cup qualifying victory

 

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan masterminded a famous victory over Croatia on Friday then admitted his side could still do better.

Robert Snodgrass grabbed the only goal of the game to clinch a first win of the World Cup qualifying campaign for a side who were rooted to the bottom of the section.

The Scots had headed into the game in Zagreb already out of the race for Brazil in 2014 and favoured by very few to return with any sort of positive result from playing the top seeds. However, the players delivered a famous win and one that Strachan hopes he can build on for the future.

He said: "It's a great result and we must enjoy the result. But when I look at it from a coach's point of view, there are one or two things you would like to brush up on, that's for sure.

"This is something that makes us happy for a while and makes us feel good about ourselves. I think sometimes we do take it badly. I remember James McArthur and Robert Snodgrass taking it badly after the Wales game.

"Now they can feel good about themselves and hopefully in the next game there is a spring in their step."

Asked if the 1-0 victory has given the nation some pride back, Strachan said: "I would think so, I would hope so. You play for your country for pride. It's not for money, it's not for anything else. And you give people pride."

On the result itself, he added: "It's satisfying. The lads played from their hearts. They played as a group, 24 of them trained as a group, which made this possible. So we thank them for that.

"I wanted a performance. It was 90 per cent that we weren't going to win. We would like to think that the work that they put in helped.

"You can't do it if you're not really convinced about doing it and I thought the group themselves were brilliant. We got a response from training and we got a response tonight.

"I really feel pleased for everybody who gets on the plane, who travelled, who were watching. When you're with the national side, the group makes the whole country happy."

When it was put to the manager that some of the individual displays bordered on the heroic, Strachan said: "There is heroic in terms of defending. There is also heroic in holding the ball up. Shaun Maloney was doing that, and James McArthur.

"Craig Conway and Steven Naismith went on and did well. I think that's as good as I've seen Alan Hutton play. Steven Whittaker as well. As a partnership at centre-half it wasn't bad too.

"Other ones have to get up to a level of fitness to play at this level and that's hard work."

Speaking earlier on BBC2 Scotland, Snodgrass said of the result: "It feels good. We came here believing we could get something. There was loads of pride at stake, the manager gave a few boys a chance and we're delighted with the result."

Croatia had spoken with plenty of confidence ahead of the match, but Snodgrass said Scotland had used that as motivation.

Asked what Strachan had told his players, Snodgrass said: "He just said, 'Everybody can play with heart, run about a lot and do things, but it takes a little bit more now'.

"I think we played a good Croatia side there and got the three points, and I think we could have nicked a few more goals.

"There was loads of cheap talk before the game from Croatia and we used that as motivation to go out there. Every player gave 110 per cent and that's why we got the three points."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before