Gardner Spiers: Road away from Hampden may help Queen's Park

Written by Adam Henderson.

Queen's Park manager Gardner Spiers believes his side's move away from Hampden could act as clean slate for the club to kick-start their season.

The Spiders are seven points adrift at the bottom of League 2 and lost 5-0 to Peterhead in the last match to be played at the national stadium before it closes for the Commonwealth Games.

They will ground share with Airdrieonians at the Excelsior Stadium for over a year as Scotland's National Stadium faces temporary redevelopments in preparation for the Games.

Spiers said: "We tried to use it as motivation for the players. To lose in that manner here would have been disappointing anyway but being the last match here just compounds it.

"We will be looking to use this move as something of a clean slate. That's not to brush any of our shortcomings under the carpet. We know where we're failing and where we're short but it is going to be different surroundings and sometimes things like that can make a wee one or two percent difference. We haven't managed to win in our last game at Hampden but we have to try and win at out first game at Airdrie.

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Tim Howard impressed with Scotland

Written by Danny Collins.

USA captain Tim Howard has praised the performance of Scotland after they scraped a 0-0 draw on Friday night.

The American goalkeeper didn't have much to do as he watched his national side struggle to break down the Scots at Hampden.
 
However the Everton goalkeeper was impressed by the dark blue, months after defeating the same side 5-1.

He said: “It was a different dynamic; this was always going to be a tougher game under a new manager.  They [Scotland] were resilient; they were tough, they got at us and they pressed us well, they broke when the ball turned over. They were impressive.

“It wasn’t terribly exciting I guess for a neutral, but for us it was a good exercise and a good result.  We would have liked to have gotten the win but so would they but 0-0 actually pretty much works out. “

The game was watched by just over 21,000 people as Scotland and USA both cancelled each other out.  The last time these two teams met was in September last year when the Scots were embarrassed in Florida, losing 5-1 on the night.

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Steve Paterson: Defeat to Brora will be no disaster

Written by Grant Milne.

Up until now, Brora have managed to take maximum points from their ten fixtures whilst Formartine sit three in front, albeit having had the virtue of playing two games more.

It may be billed as a crunch match however former Aberdeen boss, Steve Paterson, believes the onus is not necessarily on his United side to take all three points from the encounter.
 
"With all the reports coming about Brora you have to see them as favourites.” He admitted. “I’m fine with that. We got touted last year and in the end we came up short but we can’t do much more than what we are doing at the moment - 11 wins out of 12 is 33 points and a great return so far.
 
"Obviously next week it would be fantastic to win the game but I wouldn’t see losing as a disaster as we are not even near the halfway stage."

The old footballing cliché may say that league campaigns are a marathon, not a sprint, and ‘Pele’ acknowledges that there are many significant hurdles to overcome along the way, after nicking a late victory at Fraserburgh last weekend.
 
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Robert Snodgrass: Gordon Strachan is a great man

Written by Daniel Collins.

Robert Snodgrass has heaped praised on a "Great Man" that has helped him star for Scotland.
 
Snodgrass grabbed the opener in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday, but diverted the praise to manager Gordon Strachan.
 
The Hampden win came at the end of a disappointing campaign, but Snodgrass feels good times are ahead for the Tartan Army.
 
“Gordon is a terrific manager and a great man," said the former Livingston man.  "He gets the boys playing in a way that has put the belief back into the country.  Not many managers would have come in and done that, it’s a hard job to take on, especially with results we have had. 
 
"He knew it was the right time to come in. I’m happy to be working under him.”

Strachan took on the Scotland job in January taking over from Craig Levein and has been quick to turn things around.

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Celtic's Callum McGregor delighted at Scotland debut

Written by Mark McDougall.

ON Loan Notts County midfielder Callum McGregor has expressed his delight at making his Scotland U21’s debut, and says playing every week for Notts County has given him the chance.

McGregor, on loan at Notts County from Celtic, made his debut on the right hand side of midfield and says he was delighted to get his place back in the squad after having to pull out with injury last season.
 
“I was in the squad last year but had to get a hip operation so that was my first appearance for the 21’s and it was excellent.

“I’ve worked hard this season trying to get back into the fold after the injury so I was delighted to get back into the squad and delighted to play tonight.”

McGregor moved down south in the summer and says playing regular first team football and having the experience of playing against Liverpool has helped.
 
“I think it’s important to be playing every week and to be developing your game and its helped to catch the eye as well and it helps me step up to this stage.

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Bernie Slaven: Write Celtic off at your peril

Written by Keiran Psyl.

BERNIE Slaven has told Celtic's Champions League rivals to "write them off at your peril."
 
The Hoops served notice of their intentions to fight all the way in Group H as only two late Milan goals saw them off in the San Siro.
 
Paisley born Slaven was a stand out for Middlesbrough between 1985-1993, and in an exclusive interview with Kieran Psyl, he said he's been impressed by his boyhood heroes under Neil Lennon.
 
“Neil Lennon has done a fantastic job," said Slaven. "Last season’s exploits in Europe were exceptional. Obviously [it was] disappointing that he had to sell Hooper.

“You write Celtic off at your peril. Home form is the key and the record at Parkhead over the years has been exceptional.”

When he was scoring consistently at Middlesbrough, there were rumours in the press that Celtic were interested in Slaven’s services - something Slaven would have jumped at.

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Thibaut Courtois backs Scotland to qualify for Euro 2016

Written by Adam Henderson.

THIBAUT Courtois says Scotland are already a much tougher prospect under Gordon Strachan.
 
The Belgian goalkeeper has also backed the Scots to end their major finals drought and qualify for Euro 2016.
 
Belgium defeated Scotland 2-0 both home and away, however the Chelsea goalkeeper, on loan for three years at Atletico Madrid, says there's a noticeable difference since Craig Levein's era.
 
"I think they play different under the new manager," he said. "They play good, they play quick, they play counter-attack and they have some good players so I think in the future they will do good things.
 
"I saw them also in the England match where they just lost 3-2, and in Croatia they helped us when they won 1-0, so it is not easy to play here.
 


"Of course I think Scotland has a good chance of qualifying for Euro 2016. You also need a little bit of luck if you get two good teams it can be difficult but they are a good team.
 
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Shaun Maloney: Belgium just too good for Scotland

Written by Adam Henderson.

SCOTLAND midfielder Shaun Maloney says the gulf between themselves and Belgium was just too much to bridge.
 
The Scots lost 2-0 against Belgium on Friday but Maloney feels that they didn't disgrace themselves against what was a top international side. 
 
He said: "It was a difficult match. There was a reason we were such underdogs and I think the gulf between the teams just showed in the end. But I think we did okay.
 
"We made it difficult for them and there was little signs in our play that we did alright. I think possession is obviously something we are trying to improve on and again there was signs it's just getting a little bit better."

He added: "It was particularly hard work for me in that role [behind the striker]. Hopefully I did enough to help the two midfielders behind me. You always want to do more. I could have created more and I had a chance in the second half that on another day if I maybe had kept it a bit lower could have gone in. These are the sort of things I'll probably relay in my mind."
 
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