Scotland v Lithuania: Boss Strachan is spoilt for choice at left-back

Andy Robertson.
Andy Robertson.
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Scotland manager Gordon Strachan described the performances of his left-back trio in training ahead of the World Cup clash with Lithuania as the most impressive he has ever seen.

Strachan has the option of sticking with Hull’s Andy Robertson or going with Rangers skipper Lee Wallace or Celtic teenager Kieran Tierney for tonight’s Hampden qualifier.

The latter two pulled out of the opening victory over Malta through injury but, with Slovakia to come on Tuesday in Trnava, Strachan might look to freshen his team up at some stage over the double header.

“Some of the areas we are very strong, some I’d like to be stronger,” Strachan said at his Hampden media conference.

“But areas we have not got a problem is the mental strength, that was proved in the last game. Areas we are happy with is their passion and commitment, we have got that as well.

“Areas on the park, left-back, incredible. Those three this week, as good as I have seen, those three in training, for one position.

“We have people playing well, people not getting a game for their club, that’s a factor, but we still think they’re good players.”

Lithuania have travelled to Scotland on the back of a 2-2 draw with Slovenia but they were two up until tiring late in the game and also held Poland to a draw in a recent friendly.

Former Hearts striker Edgaras Jankauskas has adopted a more positive tactical approach since taking over the national team in January and Strachan expects an attacking challenge from the visitors.

“I was impressed with Lithuania in their last two games,” Strachan said. “They are a real hard-working side, a bit different from years ago when teams a pot below you would come and sit in. They are quite prepared to push out and close you down and win the ball back. So it should be an interesting game.”

Meanwhile, Darren Fletcher is set to win his 75th Scotland cap but he still tapped into the experience of boyhood idol Gary McAllister in the build-up to tonight’s clash.

McAllister joined former Leeds, Coventry and Scotland team-mate Strachan’s squad this week for several days on the training ground at Mar Hall.

And Fletcher was delighted to get the chance to listen to one of his predecessors as Scotland captain.

“Gary McAllister was my favourite player growing up and we had the pleasure of him being with the squad,” Fletcher said.

“It’s always nice to listen to his stories and tap into his information. He’s got great football knowledge and he was up here to help us.”