Heartbreak in Slovenia as play-off hopes are dashed

Posted October 10, 2017

Robert Snodgrass handed the visitors late hope with a well-taken goal minutes before the final whistle but Scotland were ultimately unable to salvage the victory needed to secure second place in the group.

Of course the players have to take responsibility for allowing a side with effectively nothing to play for but pride, and coming off the crushing disappointment of their injury-time defeat at Wembley, to emerge for the second half with more ambition than one which had glorious opportunity staring them in the face.

"Genetically, we're behind. The last campaign we were the second smallest, apart from Spain, so that means we had to pick a team tonight to try and combat the height and strength", he told reporters.

"The fans can't hurt like that, I can't hurt".

Manager Gordon Strachan's future is unclear and there are members of the squad considering their global futures before the inaugural Nations League and subsequent Euro 2020 campaign, with the latter not beginning until March 2019.

That sense has been clouded somewhat by Scotland forcing themselves into play-off contention after a dismal start in Group F, with some members of Strachan's squad stating publicly they want him to stay.

Strachan remained coy on his future, although received support from Celtic striker Griffiths, who expressed hope that the former Coventry, Southampton and Middlesbrough manager would lead Scotland's European Championship qualification campaign. "I really have to thank them for the effort they have put in". The Scot previously led Cardiff up to the Premier League, but his reputation later took a knock following allegations of "racist, sexist and homophobic" messages, although in the end he wasn't charged by the FA. Genetically we have to work at things.

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'We just knew set-pieces would be a problem and they scored with two of them.

"But we seem to be able to fight it and battle it with determination, skill and work rate".

"We just can't play the biggest people in Scotland".

"I don't think that would make us a whole lot better".

Next in the running is Malky Mackay, someone who has not managed in two-and-a-half-years following a 25-game stint at Wigan.

"We've come up short, it wasn't our best performance (against Slovenia)".