Former Scotland manager Craig Brown wants return to major tournaments more than victory over 'Auld Rivals' England

Brown was in charge for the 1998 World Cup when the Scots last qualified for a major tournament

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown claims it is more important that current boss Gordon Strachan returns the Dark Blues to a major tournament than it is to win at Wembley.

Brown was the last man to lead the Scots to a summer finals when his squad qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France.

A year later, however, there was anguish as the team lost out in a two-legged play-off against England as they were denied a place at Euro 2000.

A 2-0 defeat at Hampden did the damage as Kevin Keegan's side won through to Holland and Belgium but there was the consolation of a single-goal victory in the Wembley return as Don Hutchison netted his famous header.

Brown would love to see Strachan eclipse his feat of winning in London when the sides meet on Wednesday but insists steering the Scots to Euro 2016 in France is far more important to his long-term reputation.

He told Press Association Sport: "Gordon is already a legend in Scottish football and a win would help that. But he doesn't need to beat England to cement his legacy.

"I think it's more important that we qualify for the European Championships next time than it is to win at Wembley.

"But a win against the Auld Enemy would be a bonus."

Strachan was drafted in to pick up the pieces following a disastrous start to World Cup qualifying but could not revive the desperate situation left for him by former boss Craig Levein as defeats to Wales and Serbia cost Scotland their place in Brazil next summer.

But the recent 1-0 win over Croatia in Zagreb has raised hopes that the side may have finally turned the corner.

And Brown - who also managed the Scots for their Euro 96 clash with England - has no doubt the new manager will field a side more than capable of holding their own against their more sizeable neighbours.

"I never felt pressure at any time during my time as manager of Scotland and neither should Gordon," he said. "I always worked to the philosophy that if you do your utmost, then that was all you could do.

"I was fiercely determined and competitive but I didn't lose any sleep.

"People asked me after we lost here 2-0 to the English in 1999 if I feared we were going to be humiliated in London. But I never felt that way. I was always optimistic because I had faith in my team.

"I still feel the same with this group and as a fan, I'm optimistic. I'm desperate for us to win the game on Wednesday.

"It will be very tight. In the last 10 games against England, neither side has scored more than two goals. It will be a mistake, a poor decision or maybe a penalty that decides it.

"The only piece of brilliance I can remember in this game was Paul Gascoigne's goal at Euro 96. But I don't think you will see that this time. I think it will be dour. There will be a one goal in it.

"But we shouldn't fear a complete doing. It won't be another 9-3."

Around 20,000 members of the Tartan Army will descend on the English capital for Wednesday's match and Brown expects them to have an impact on the result, even through the game is a mere "friendly".

He said: "A friendly between Scotland and England is the equivalent of a competitive match between any two other counties in the world.

"I was involved in seven games with England - four in the Rous Cup as an assistant and three as a manager. They were all competitive and we never had a friendly with them.

"And I'm sure this won't be played like a friendly either. Certainly not from a Scottish perspective. We are out to continue the progress from that fine win in Croatia and, you know, it is the Auld Enemy we are facing.

"We don't talk about playing England, we talk about playing THEM. So it's important to us. Certainly more to us than to the English.

"And it will mean more to our supporters. They might have more numbers supporting England but they won't match us in volume."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing