Scottish Gossip: Scotland, Slovakia, Gordon Strachan, World Cup

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

After Saturday's 1-1 draw against Lithuania at Hampden, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan thinks the chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup hinge on securing a big result away from home, and he believes winning in Slovakia could be the one. (Various)

Portland Timbers' Lithuanian defender Vytautas Andriuskevicius is frustrated by the loss of a late goal to Scotland but feels that his country showed they are better than their world ranking of 117. (Sun)

Striker Chris Martin admits the "general consensus" in the Scotland squad is that they must beat Slovakia to take the pressure off Strachan and boost their qualification chances. (Various)

Martin, who revealed that the manager told him to enjoy the game, bring others into play, get on the end of crosses and take his chances, hopes he has done enough to keep the number nine jersey ahead of Leigh Griffiths. (Various)

Gordon Strachan issues instructions to defender Russell Martin
Gordon Strachan issues instructions to defender Russell Martin

Scotland midfielder Barry Bannan urges fans not to panic, insisting the qualification group will go down to the last match. (Various)

Steven Pressley, who was Scotland's spy as Slovakia lost to Slovenia, observes that Slovakia did not create many chances but predicts that the hosts will be more aggressive against Scotland. (Sun)

Scotland defender Andrew Robertson thinks that the greater pressure to win is on Slovakia because they have no points on the board yet. (Sun)

Gordon Strachan has won seven of his 17 competitive matches in charge of Scotland. (Daily Record)

Only a win in Trnava will bring Scotland the four points that Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass felt was the minimum required from the double-header against Lithuania and Slovakia. (Daily Mail)

"Strachan can't serve up pure mince and call it filet mignon". (Daily Mail)

Gordon Strachan recovered well from his first game in charge of Celtic - a 5-0 thrashing by Artmedia Bratislava in Slovkia - but his time as Scotland boss could be over if the team lose in Trnava. (Herald)

Scotland's starting XI for the match against Lithuania
Scotland's starting XI for the match against Lithuania

Hearts full-back Callum Paterson was pleased he was able to show off one of his "assets", his prowess with long throw-ins, as one such delivery helped to create James McArthur's equaliser against Lithuania. (Herald)

Former Hearts midfielder Robert Tomaschek, now technical team manager for Slovakia, believes the return from suspension of Martin Skrtel will be "very important" for the team. (Herald)

Rangers' imposition of another week's ban for midfielder Joey Barton suggests the club are "merely trying to either find a way" to sack him or are trying to come to an arrangement that means he can leave without Rangers having to pay off his two-year £2m contract. (Daily Mail)

Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish is "sure" that current boss Mark Warburton will "embrace" the difficult situation with Barton. "He seems like an intelligent guy. I think he will take the challenge head on and he has to," says McLeish. (Herald)

Following 13-year-old Karamoko Dembele playing for Celtic's Under-20s at Cappielow recently, Mustafa Kapi, aged 14, played for Galatasaray's first team in a friendly against Levski Sofia. (Daily Record)

Former Dundee United and Celtic defender Mark Wilson could be in line to replace Jack Ross as Alloa boss. (Daily Express)

OTHER GOSSIP

Andy Murray says 2016 has been the best year of his career as he won his 40th tournament, the China Open. (Various)

The Leicester Tigers spy in the stand at Stadio Lanfranchi will have been confused by the personnel selection of Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend as the Scots won 33-28 against Zebre in the Pro12. Tigers take on the Warriors in the European Champions Cup on Friday, but their coach might not have learned much about their opponents given the number of fringe players who had a run-out. (Herald)

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