Scotland 1 Estonia 0: Life under Strachan begins in positive way

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Charlie Mulgrew’s first goal for Scotland got new boss Gordon Strachan’s tenure off to a winning start against Estonia at Pittodrie.

Celtic defender Mulgrew got the only goal in the 38th minute at the home of his former club when he fired in from a Charlie Adam free-kick – his first goal in dark blue.

Ironically, when he was boss at Celtic, Strachan deemed Mulgrew surplus to requirements during the defender’s first stint at Parkhead.

It was a solid if unspectacular start to Strachan’s reign in a bitterly cold night in Aberdeen with Birmingham winger Chris Burke, back in the fold for the first time in seven years, combining well down the right with his former Rangers team mate Alan Hutton until he was left inside at the interval.

Qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil maybe a forlorn hope – the Scots have two points from four games in their qualifiers – but last night’s win will give them optimism ahead of qualifiers against Wales and Serbia next month.

Afterwards, Mulgrew and Burke both had praise for Strachan after his first match as manager.

“It’s been good, been different, some new ideas in there,” said Mulgrew.

“The match was played in difficult conditions ... the most important thing was getting the win so we are happy.

“It is good to get that winning spirit – hopefully we can go on and get more wins.”

Burke, who was making his first Scotland appearance since 2006 said it has been “excellent” working under Strachan and his coaching staff, which includes former Leicester City and Reading boss Mark McGhee.

““It’s been excellent, him (Strachan) and his coaching staff.

“I’ve learned so much so it’s been really great to be amongst it all. It was excellent, I was happy with my performance – all round the team did well.”