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Strachan ‘not thinking about himself’ after loss

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Scots’ form can change – Strachan

Gordon Strachan is not “thinking about myself” despite the 3-0 World Cup qualifying loss in Slovakia increasing the pressure on the Scotland coach.

Scotland now sit fourth in Group F with four points from three games after two goals from Robert Mak and a third by Adam Nemec in Trnava.

“The people who I feel sorry for are the players,” said Strachan. “They’re the ones I’m thinking about.

“I’m proud of them. The second group you feel sorry for are the supporters.”

Strachan believes Scotland can still compete for second place in the group, despite taking just one point from their October double-header against Slovakia and Lithuania, who earned a 1-1 draw at Hampden on Saturday.

The Scots face group leaders England at Wembley on 11 November.

“Form can change in a couple of weeks and this campaign is played over a year,” said Strachan, who accepted his side’s decision-making could have been better in Slovakia.

“Every time I get together with these guys, they rejuvenate me. We’ve given it our best shot in the last couple of games in terms of doing what we think is right, trying to pick the right side.

“I’m happy with the response from the lads every time. We’d like to be better off but we are one point off a play-off place.”

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Scotland have finished fourth in their last two qualifying campaigns

Slovakia’s first goal was controversial, with the visitors believing there was a foul by Jan Durica on Steven Fletcher prior to the move that ended with Mak’s finish.

Mak and then Nemec were both afforded too much space in Scotland’s penalty box as they increased the home side’s advantage in the second half.

“Just when they need a break, the decision being on their side, it goes against them,” Strachan said of the incident involving Fletcher.

“They come back into it. They were still brave on the ball, still trying to make chances.

“The second goal made a big difference. They went from being a bit laborious to being strong. It was uphill after that. Then you see the size of them, and they score from a set play.”