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Fletcher prepared to risk injury as Scotland face key Slovakia tie

Fletcher prepared to risk injury as Scotland face key Slovakia tie

Strachan remains confident that Scotland can challenge for second place in Group F - and be in the mix for the play-offs.

Thompson also questioned Strachan's insistence before the match that Scotland did not need to take three points from the visit of Lithuania.

'Of course I'd risk it, but that's down to the manager as well if I'm able to play.

"We'll shake it up a wee bit (for the game in Slovakia), that's for sure, but there were some good performances, some courageous performances", said Strachan. So everything is OK and we are ready to go again.

Kozak's men, though, boast a decent record on home soil, having been beaten in just two of their last 15 home fixtures - a sequence of results that includes a hugely impressive 2-1 win against Spain in qualifying for Euro 2016 - and, as such, Slovakia are chalked up as Betway's 6/5 (2.20) favourites to kickstart their campaign with a vital victory. It's not just that he's telling us everything is great when it's not.

"Look, we are going in to win the game as we do every game".

Steven Fletcher watches the ball cross the line as Scotland take the lead against Georgia
SNS Group Steven Fletcher watches the ball cross the line as Scotland take the lead against Georgia through Shaun Maloney

Scotland's forward players were lacking creativity but midfielder McArthur headed home in the 89th minute following a long throw.

"There are going to be changes because we thought it was going to be a rough-and-tumble game with Lithuania, which it was". Intrigue surrounds who starts in attack, with Chris Martin returning a wholly unconvincing performance on Saturday amid a run which has seen him fail to score in his last 20 domestic games. "It's good but the big disappointment is when you have got to tell someone who is playing really well that they're not playing, that's the down side to my job".

If they weren't all right we would have drawn in Malta [where Scotland won 5-1] and we would have got beat on Saturday.

"It's not a good sign that you come up against the second-worst team in your group and really struggle, and they really struggled at Hampden to put in a performance".

"But I saw them there and it was basically a 4-3-3 with two wide men. Realistically second is the target for us". I don't think that's changed in the past two games. I think most of us expect, the footballing world, that England would win it.

"Second, yes. We will definitely go and try and get second at least and if we end up getting first then great".

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