The Dark Blues were outplayed for much of the friendly encounter at the Aker Stadion but came up with another confidence-boosting victory when Scott Brown struck the game’s only goal after 61 minutes.
But Strachan admitted his team had failed to match the standards of the hosts. He said: “I thought Norway were the better team. They played a lot more combination passes than we did.
“They were old fashioned in the first 20 minutes in that they made us turn with their two strikers and chased us into corners.
“We wanted to play but because Norway were so good at making us go back the way, we couldn’t get going.
“Our work rate was great but it was desperation, because we had to work that hard.”
Goalkeeper David Marshall pulled off a string of saves to keep the scores level – thwarting Barnsley striker Marcus Pedersen 10 minutes after the break – before Brown lashed home the winner.