Gordon Strachan savours return to Easter Road

Gordon Strachan. Picture: PA
Gordon Strachan. Picture: PA
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SCOTLAND Gordon Strachan admits he will be the proudest man in Leith as he makes his Easter Road return on Friday night.

The Dark Blues boss grew up near to the Hibernian ground and supported the Hibees as a boy.

But the only time he ever managed to pull on the Edinburgh side’s famous green and white jersey was during a testimonial match for former Hibs defender Gordon Hunter.

The opponents were Strachan’s Coventry side but he risked the wrath of boss Ron Atkinson by turning out for his home-town team.

He will be back at Easter Road for Friday night’s friendly clash with Qatar and is looking forward to a “special” occasion.

“This time I won’t have to skip over the turnstiles,” he joked. “I think I should get in no problem.

“I’ve played there for Hibs once in a testimonial and I scored. Ron Atkinson didn’t speak to me for two days afterwards.

“It’s fantastic that I can go back to where I started watching football as the Scotland manager. It’s a proud time being Scotland manager and going back there is fantastic. I’m sure a few of my relatives will be going to the game.”

Meanwhile, Scotland defender Gordon Greer admits he is already dreaming of a place at Euro 2016 - but has warned his team-mates against getting too carried away.

The Brighton defender is itching to start against the Qataris.

He hopes to impress Strachan and seal a place in the Dark Blues line-up that faces Ireland in next Saturday’s crucial Euro 2016 in Dublin.

Victory at the Aviva stadium would move the Scots five points ahead of their Group D rivals and virtually kill off the hosts’ qualification hopes.

The Scots are currently a point behind group leaders Poland and level with Germany and Greer knows just how important each of Scotland’s remaining five qualifiers are as they look to book a slot at next year’s finals in France.

Reaching the nation’s first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup would fulfil all the 34-year-old’s boyhood ambitions.

But he believes the team must take each game as they come or risk letting the dream fall flat again.

He said: “Of course I’m dreaming about the Euros, that is why you all play football as a young player. To represent your country and get to a major tournament would be fantastic.

“We’re not going down that road too far but when I was growing up I did dream about playing for Scotland at a major tournament.

“However, as you get older and you’re involved in it you just take each games as it comes.

“It’s an important game coming up. At this stage it is about the performance and we’ll be giving everything to get the right result.”

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