Football

Gordon Strachan proud of Tartan Army support as Scotland see off Gibraltar

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Boss Gordon Strachan claims the backing of the Tartan Army in Scotland's 6-0 drubbing of Gibraltar in Faro gave him one of the "more memorable nights" in his football career.

After failing to qualify for the 2016 Euro finals with a 2-2 draw against Poland at Hampden Park on Thursday night, the Scots had to conclude their Group D campaign against the section minnows at the Estadio Algarve.

The vast majority of the 12,401 fans inside the stadium were Scottish and they chanted the manager's name throughout the game and gave the side a huge reception after the final whistle.

After a Steven Fletcher hat-trick and goals from Shaun Maloney, Chris Martin and substitute Steven Naismith confirmed a fourth-place finish, the national team boss brought his backroom staff on to the pitch for a group photograph with the squad.

Strachan's contract is up and he will decide soon whether he wishes to continue but the former Scotland midfielder said: "The fans - as they always say - if they see a group of players who give their best and try their best, will support them.

"And that was never more clearer than this evening.

"In football, I have been lucky to have been in stadiums with special atmospheres and it is usually winning a cup or league or doing something, a fantastic result.

"To have one of your more memorable nights in football away to Gibraltar, if you had asked me that 20 years ago then no. But as I leave here tonight, you think, I have seen a special night in terms of the bond between fans and players.

"It was a special evening. We did win and it made it special for the players, they are in there buzzing because of the support they got.

"It is quite an emotional night.

"With five minutes to go I said we need to get a picture of this, everyone involved in this because it is a one-off thing.

"You fail to qualify and these people are chanting for the team. It was a special moment. Most of the special moments you get in football are with success.

"If you said to me on Friday we were going to have a special night tonight then I would say 'no', but it has happened."

Strachan reiterated his plans to resolve his future as the former Celtic and Middlesbrough boss said: "I will speak to people in my life, family side or management side, but I have to say I am so proud to be the Scotland manager.

"I am not trying to be tricky or keep everyone waiting but I think it is only fair to speak to everyone involved."

Gibraltar boss Jeff Wood claimed his players need to improve their fitness.

He said: "We started off okay, we kept the ball okay and played with a bit of pattern but as soon as we started getting tired it became a problem.

"We have players who are playing in the Premier League in Gibraltar and they are playing against players from the Premier League in the UK.

"Our fitness levels are not as good as they should be. We need to raise the bar when it comes to the fitness level. But I thought Scotland played very well, they have some quality players."

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