Former Scotland manager Craig Brown believes that the national team is ‘set up’ to qualify for their first major tournament in twenty years.
Brown, who managed Scotland to Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup – the last time Scotland qualified for a major tournament – believes that Strachan and his squad can qualify ‘this time’ round.
Speaking exclusively to the Scottish FA website, Brown said: “Everyone knows I’m a super optimist and I always think we’re going to qualify. This isn’t just blind loyalty, this is a genuine belief. I have a feeling that our team is getting better and stronger and our younger players are maturing as well.
“Gordon is highly regarded by the players and the fans. We’re all set up to reach the World Cup this time. It would be fantastic to qualify and when we’re there, it will just lift the nation and the whole game will take a major boost.”
He added: “Hopefully we can get a good result in Malta and that will set us up. You’ve got to be warned that although it’s allegedly a lesser nation they’ve always got a problem for the bigger nations. Usually they have a key player and my policy was usually to man mark him as if he doesn’t play, they don’t play.
“The first game is invariably an exciting one and sometimes sets the tone for the rest of the campaign. The highlight of the group is that we’re playing ‘them’. These will be wonderful games. You’ll not be able to get a ticket for love nor money for the games against England. I am eagerly looking forward to both of those fixtures.
“The first one is down in Wembley and I genuinely believe, looking at England’s recent performances, that we can beat them!”
Scotland kick off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday against Malta.