World Cup 2018: Rob Maclean's five things about Scotland after win over Slovenia

Scotland's Andy Robertson, Chris Martin and Ikechi Anya celebrate
Chris Martin (centre) scored Scotland's winner against Slovenia

Rob Maclean continues his series assessing the main talking points from the weekend's football action.

Nothing to scare reprieved Scots

The belief is back for Scotland. We have to hold on to it for the rest of this World Cup campaign.

Now I know it took a late winner to beat Slovenia at Hampden and our qualification chances are still in the long-shot category, but at least they're still alive.

Scotland are not in the group of death. Nothing like it.

England are well short of wonderful but will top the table. Elsewhere, there's nothing to fear if we continue to play on the front foot.

The performance on Sunday night was far from perfect and yet we should have beaten the Slovenians with a bit to spare.

There has to be more to come from Gordon Strachan and his team. All we are saying is give this a go.

Tierney comes up trumps

Scotland's Kieran Tierney holds off Slovenia's Kevin Kampl
Kieran Tierney (left) was played as an auxiliary right-back against Slovenia

We were asking the questions at lunchtime, sitting in the Sunday Sportsound studio, previewing the big game. How can Kieran Tierney be shoehorned into the Scotland team?

Can you possibly leave such an outstanding teenage talent sitting on the substitutes bench?

But he's a left-back and you don't want to be leaving out another star performer in Andy Robertson.

By the time the three-hour BBC Radio Scotland show was finished, we had the answer.

News emerged from the Scotland camp that Tierney would fill the problem right-back position.

It's not a problem anymore. The 19-year-old is a smart footballer who can clearly rise to any challenge that's put in front of him.

Scotland don't have enough players of his quality to have him kicking his heels on the sidelines.

Scots do Celtic reel

Scotland's Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong celebrate
Six Celtic players started against Slovenia at Hampden

There's no doubt that the large-dose injection of Celtic's winning mentality played a big part in a revitalised Scotland's showing.

All six in the squad from Scotland's top team started at Hampden. It wasn't a decision based on rocket science, but it certainly had the desired effect.

Stuart Armstrong was the standout. He simply transferred his club form to the international stage in the smoothest of transitions.

He's a classy operator who's gone to a new level under the tutelage of Celtic gaffer Brendan Rodgers.

Armstrong, Tierney and Robertson are three reasons to be cheerful about the future for Scotland.

Warming to Chris Martin's cool play

Scotland's Chris Martin scores against Slovenia
Chris Martin scored against Slovenia after coming on as a substitute

Let's hear it for Chris Martin. I never imagined I'd utter those words, but I was really impressed with his dignified post-game reaction to the booing that preceded his match-winning moment.

I've always liked players who don't contribute a whole lot more than scoring goals. I think Martin falls into that category, but he didn't deserve the stick dished out to him when he stepped off the bench.

It must have been so sweet for him when cheering replaced jeering as he sclaffed in the winner.

I'd still play Leigh Griffiths up front against England though.

I thought he should have headed the one he whacked against the bar and he was unlucky with the right-footer that pinged the inside of the post, but he was always getting into scoring positions until injury forced him off.

Griffiths needs game time, but he's the best we have at the moment in attack.

Hollow Hampden hankers for rethink

Slovenia and Scotland line-up at Hampden
Hampden was only half full for Sunday's visit by Slovenia

Hampden doesn't help. Even when the national stadium is full, you're not guaranteed a crackling atmosphere.

So, when it's more than half empty, as it was for Sunday's make-or-break match, there's not much buzz about the place. It sounded like a closed-doors friendly at times.

You could just about have crammed that crowd inside Tynecastle. What a difference that would have made.

Or it could have been switched to Celtic Park since six of the Scotland starters play for the champions elect and that would have produced a top turnout.

There are probably good reasons why neither of the above would have worked, but some thinking outside the box would be good.

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