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Darren Fletcher: This squad will qualify for the Euros

The Scotland midfielder said failure to reach the World Cup play-offs is hard to take.

Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher believes the national team can put the disappointment of missing out on World Cup 2018 behind them and reach the next European Championships.

A draw in Slovenia put an end to hopes of reaching Russia 2018 but Fletcher said that the easier route to the Euro 2020 finals meant Scotland's long wait to play in a major finals again could end.

Fletcher backed Gordon Strachan to stay on as manager and said that he could help the squad evolve into one that can succeed at the highest level.

"I think you see the lads turn up and respond to the manager, like the way he works," he said. "He gets the best out of us.

"I think this group of lads will qualify for the Euros.

"With the extra teams and the top two qualifying and best third place, I think if we stick to that continuity with these young players coming through.

"With the basis of the squad we've got I think if we stick together then I think we qualify for the Euros in the next campaign."

Scotland let slip a 1-0 lead before drawing 2-2 with Slovenia and the midfielder said that there was perhaps a psychological reason behind a second half slump.

"It's really hard to take when we found ourselves in a strong position at half-time," he said. "We were under a lot of pressure in the second half and we just couldn't withstand it.

"We had a great response and nearly came back from the impossible but unfortunately we couldn't get that last goal that we needed.

"Sometimes when you're winning 1-0 and that's the result you need, you get into that little bit of desperation and sit back a little bit, trying to absorb pressure but at the same time it's hard to change that mindset because you know that 1-0 lead takes you through.

"It's easy to say we should still take the game forward but it doesn't work like that really. I think that it's just the desperation of trying to qualify and when it doesn't happen for a long time you sense that."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1399472-strachan-praises-players-but-won-t-be-drawn-on-his-future/ | default

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