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McLeish: I can handle pressure ahead of key double-header

The Scotland boss admitted he's feeling the heat ahead of the crucial double-header.

Alex McLeish acknowledged the pressure is on ahead of Scotland's crucial double-header but said he retains firm belief his team can reach the play-offs.

The Scots suffered a setback last time out as they fell to a dismal 2-1 loss in Israel, leaving them three points off the pace in their Nations League group with two games to go.

McLeish admitted he's feeling the heat after suffering six defeats across his eight matches in charge so far.

But the national team boss said he's ready to use the pressure as fuel for improvement.

He said: "I learn lessons every time we don't get the right result.

"I like to show my resilience, I've been in the game for 42 years with high pressure.

"I feel I am pretty good at bouncing back from setbacks."

He added: "There is always pressure there, football is highly popular and being at the top of the tree, it brings pressure.

"Even the great Jose Mourinho said recently he had felt a wee bit of pressure.

"But it is something that you use to empower yourself and make yourself better and I feel I've done that all my career."

Scotland head to Albania next on November 17, before hosting leaders Israel in their final group match three days later at Hampden.

Topping the group would land the Scots a play-off spot, which McLeish said is the minimum requirement.

Should they fail to complete that mission, it has been suggested by some the national team boss could lose his job.

But he responded to questions on that topic by saying: "That's not something I'd want to discuss.

"I don't even think about that.

"I'm just concentrating on the players getting the right result to take Scotland forward and to inspire the Tartan Army again to come in their hordes."

McLeish recalls 'specialist striker' Fletcher

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1432570-steven-fletcher-returns-as-scotland-squad-announced/ | default

With Leigh Griffiths and Steven Naismith unavailable, McLeish was handed a selection headache in attack.

The ex-Rangers and Aston Villa manager has opted to recall Steven Fletcher to the national set-up in a bid to find a striking solution.

Fletcher hasn't played for his country since August 2017 but McLeish said he had no qualms about calling up the Sheffield Wednesday hitman.

"He's in good form, he's been out for a long time, we felt he needed to get more games under his belt at the start of the season and he's done that.

"When we had the call-offs we had no hesitation to call Steven and here he is, it's good news.

"He has brilliant experience, he's a specialist centre-forward, it's good news for the nation.

"Young strikers coming through like Oli McBurnie can learn from Steven Fletcher."

"We are going to trust this whole squad to get the results we need.

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