Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admits it will be difficult to lift themselves for their final Group D clash against Gibraltar on Sunday despite his pride at his team's efforts.
Scotland crashed out of contention for a place at Euro 2016 in France in the final second of their last home game against Poland when Robert Lewandowski scrambled home an equaliser after a poorly-taken free-kick deflected off Grant Hanley and hit the post before the ball spun along the goalline.
Stunning goals from Matt Ritchie and Steven Fletcher had put Scotland ahead after Poland had dominated the first 45 minutes following Lewandowski's third-minute strike, after he got the benefit of the doubt in a tight onside call.
At one stage Scotland looked like they were on the verge of a play-off place but things started to go awry when Shane Long fired Republic of Ireland ahead in Dubin against Germany, and that shock win combined with the last-gasp equaliser sent Scotland out.
Strachan was told about the Irish win after the game and said: "You have to hold your hands up and say well done. We have played Poland and Ireland and not been beaten...."
A defeat in Georgia and Polish and Irish successes against Germany - the world champions only won one of their four matches against Scotland's qualification rivals - conspired to send Strachan's men out but the boss was in no mood to reflect on the campaign or his own future.
And he disagreed with one assessment that a win over Poland would have been "pointless" anyway because of the Irish triumph - Martin O'Neill's side would then have needed to win in Warsaw on Sunday to have allowed Scotland third place.
"Whatever (there is) in life - points, money - pride is much more than anything else," Strachan said.
"If you have to deal with something like that, pride and a sense of achievement, whether it be a draw or good goals, you are always going to get that.
"Pointless is probably the game on Sunday. That will be a hard one, that will be a hard one to take.
"But over the year, a couple of offside goals, a couple of horrendous deflections, we have had to put up with a lot really.
"And to overcome that, then we will probably have to be more clinical over the next couple of years."
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