Gordon Strachan: 'Genetics to blame for Scotland failure'

Gordon Strachan: 'Genetics to blame for Scotland failure'

The defeat prolongs the Scots absence from a World Cup - 1998 was their last appearance - and yet for much of their final group game they looked on course to finish second behind England and secure a qualification play-off place. I think we've improved as the campaign's gone on. "All credit to Slovenia - they played well and passed the ball well".

"We had to pick a team to combat their height and strength".

'The fans can't hurt like that, I can't hurt.

Despite being out of the chase for second spot in the group the home side looked risky going forward but at the back they were vulnerable at times.

'Me? It's not a problem. After four points from a possible 12 in the first four games, his revitalised side finished with 14 from the last 18 and six games unbeaten.

It was the Celtic striker's fourth goal in his last five Scotland games and had the "Tartan Army" of travelling fans believing in the dream of reaching the finals, being held in Russian Federation next year, for the first time in two decades.

Strachan admitted: 'At this moment it's a big disappointment, but my disappointment is nothing compared to the players. And he declared himself honoured to work with a group of players who he feels are battling against the odds. "I really have to thank them for the effort they have put in".

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"Was there fatigue? I think there was fatigue throughout the team".

"Genetically, we're behind", said Strachan. But we took the lead.

The former Celtic and Southampton manager said his players were crestfallen at finishing just short and hopes they will learn from the painful experience.

'But you can't change our genetics.

"We just can't play the biggest people in Scotland". Genetically we have to work at things. "Physically we have a problem against the teams we have faced in the last couple of years".

"It took a lot of concentration from us to deal with that and we couldn't allow ourselves to get carried away".

"We put so much into Thursday night, forcing it, pushing it for the full 90 minutes - and we did look exhausted".

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