Scotland earning more respect, says goalscorer Christophe Berra

Scotland celebrate
Christophe Berra is swamped after his third international goal

Christophe Berra believes Scotland's encouraging form in the Euro 2016 qualifiers will mean teams play more defensively against them.

Centre-back Berra was the late match-winner for the Scots in Wednesday's 1-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland.

"Because we've been doing so well this campaign, teams might start to respect us a little bit more," he said.

"They might watch this game and sit in against us to make it difficult and try and get us on the counter-attack."

Gordon Strachan's national side currently sit third in Group D, with seven points from four games - the last of which was a 1-0 victory at home to Republic of Ireland.

Scotland are level on points with Germany and three behind leaders Poland, and their next Euro 2016 qualifier is against Gibraltar at Hampden on Sunday.

Berra, who plays for English Championship side Ipswich Town, made his first international appearance since 2013 in the match with a stubborn Northern Ireland side.

"It's the first time I've been on the pitch for Scotland in a long time," he said. "So you've got to make the most of it - luckily enough I did.

Craig Gordon
Craig Gordon: "To start the game and sing the national anthem was special."

"If a team sits in and just defends and plays counter-attack, it's very difficult to break down. We just had to keep going and usually in these situations it might be a set piece or long range effort [that makes the difference].

"That's what we usually do against the bigger teams and it's worked, so teams might start doing that to us - show us a little respect and obviously know that we've gone up in the world. It just shows how we've come on in leaps and bounds, really."

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon was in Scotland's starting XI for the first time since 2010, and although rarely tested in his 45 minutes on the pitch, was glad to have reached another milestone in his recovery from long-term injury.

"To start the game and be out on the field singing the national anthem - that's something special," said the Celtic goalkeeper.

"It's important for me to have that feeling of starting a game again. I had to deal with some pass-backs and balls over the top and sometimes that's all you have to do. You can't go looking for work as a goalkeeper - it comes to you.

"The fans stuck with us well because at 0-0 for long periods it could have been easy for them to get on our backs, but they didn't; they stayed with the team and got their reward with the late goal."

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