World Cup 2018: Scotland must beat Slovenia to revive hopes, admits Gordon Strachan

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Scotland must beat Slovenia if they are to resurrect their chances of reaching the World Cup finals, Gordon Strachan has acknowledged.

The Scotland head coach’s side sit second bottom of Group F ahead of the game at Hampden Park on 26 March.

“We must win that game,” he said. “There is no getting away from that.”

But Strachan did not wish to consider what a defeat would mean for his own future and said: “Whatever happens after that, we will look at that.”

The 60-year-old, who has been in charge since 2013, signed a new two-year contract in October 2015.

Following successive 3-0 defeats away to Slovakia and England, he took time to consider his position but decided in November to carry on after receiving the backing of the Scottish Football Association board.

As he announced his squad for the 22 March warm-up friendly against Canada, followed by the qualifier against Slovenia, Strachan underlined his belief that the Scots could still reach the 2018 finals in Russia.

“If we win that game, we will only be one point behind Slovenia, who are in second at the moment,” he said.

Strachan, whose side lie fifth with four points from four matches, insisted he had “no idea” how many points they might require from their final six matches to qualify, while admitting that the Scots could not afford further setbacks.

Scotland captain Darren Fletcher is left dejected against England<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

“But we are looking forward to that challenge and I think the fans will be looking forward to that challenge of going to a game that you must win,” he said.

“So, together, we can make it a right good night for us.

“The fans have always given us support, but we really need it on that night.

“The guys will be prepared, the fans will be prepared and we are looking to put in a right good performance.”

Strachan will again field questions about his future should Scotland fall short.

“I think fans, players, anybody who really wants us to do well, will be wishing us luck and dealing with anything after the game,” he added.

“Everyone who wants to see us go to the World Cup will be backing us to win this game.

“The most important thing is three points and enjoying the build-up, which we will be doing.

“The best part of my job is coaching and I am looking forward to that and then looking forward to the challenge of the game.”

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