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We don’t need to worry about who our Euros striker will be, says Gordon Strachan

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GORDON STRACHAN is off to Euro 2024 — as The Scottish Sun’s top new columnist.

A Tartan Army legend, he won 50 Scotland caps, played at two World Cups, and also bossed the national team for four years.

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Gordon Strachan is SunSport’s new columnist for Euro 2024Credit: Darren Fletcher
The only place you can hear his unique expert take is with the Scottish Sun

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The only place you can hear his unique expert take is with the Scottish SunCredit: Darren Fletcher
Scotland drew 2-2 with Finland in their final warm-up game at Hampden

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Scotland drew 2-2 with Finland in their final warm-up game at HampdenCredit: AFP

Strach, 67, gave debuts to several of Steve Clarke’s stars, and will bring expert insight and analysis to SunSport during the Euros.

A proud Scot, he’ll team up with fellow columnists Kris Boyd and Bill Leckie in the weeks ahead.

SunSport is the ONLY place to read Strachan’s unique take from Germany.

He said: “I can’t wait to watch Scotland in action at the Euros and if you want my thoughts, SunSport is where you’ll find me.”

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I ONCE likened it to seeing my missus run off with some gorgeous hunk.

That I was initially so gutted about no longer being Scotland manager, I couldn’t even bear to watch the team play.

But time has been a great healer in the seven years since then.
I’m no longer imagining Lesley walking hand in hand with big Charlie Mulgrew!

Now I just can’t wait to watch Scotland in action at the Euros.

I’m not going to Germany for any TV work for the games against the hosts, Switzerland and Hungary.

If you want to know my thoughts about what’s going on then SunSport is where you’ll find me.

Scotland legend Gordon Strachan answers Euro 2024 Quickfire Questions

And I’ve got to tell you that I’ve got nothing but optimism and excitement for the coming weeks. Sure, we could have had more wins over the last wee while.

But that has made zero difference to how I’m feeling about our chances.

The injuries we’ve suffered, and the players who are missing out, also hasn’t got me concerned.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a shame for Lyndon Dykes, Nathan Patterson, Aaron Hickey, Lewis Ferguson and Ben Doak that they’re not making it.

But our top players are all there.

And, crucially, we haven’t lost any of our main midfield men — and that’s vital in my book.

I’d worry if we were weak in that area.

But we’re not and, in actual fact, that’s our strongest unit — in the middle of the park — which is why I’m optimistic.

We have people who can score goals, guys who are playing at the highest level when you think about Scott McTominay, John McGinn, Billy Gilmour and Callum McGregor.

That four is backed up with the likes of Kenny McLean, who has never let Scotland down.

Listen, we clearly don’t make a ton of chances in games and I’m sure Steve Clarke would prefer it if we created more.

But it doesn’t bother me that we rely more on the midfielders than our striker to score our goals.

Jack Wilshere, Gordon Strachan and Jurgen Klinsmann answer quickfire questions ahead of Euro 2024

The bottom line is that no Scotland No 9 is ever going to get four or five chances per game.

That’s just never going to happen against the top sides.

But the fact is our goals come from midfield.

Not only do our guys stop the opposition playing, they are clever enough and strong enough physically to get forward.

We’re capable of keeping the ball against good teams too now.

Gilmour won’t ever do anything spectacular — he won’t often score you a goal or be the guy with the assist — but his bravery on the ball to start moves is phenomenal.

He’ll take it anywhere and his first touch is always setting someone up — and that should never be dismissed.

The set-up means that our striker’s main job is to hold on to the ball, look after it and be a nuisance.

That then allows the midfield boys to join him.

McTominay scored seven goals in the qualifiers, so when people say we need a striker, I say, ‘Do we?’.

We have one. It just so happens he plays in a different position. And McGinn was doing it before McTominay.

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I also believe we can score from set-plays — we’re big enough and tall enough now to be able to do that — and that’s another positive.

Having that threat is so important these days.

Look at the Champions League final last week with Real Madrid beating Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Everyone talks about the brilliance of this, that and the other.

But their first goal came from a corner kick and that set them on their way to lifting the trophy.

John McGinn will be a key man for Scotland at Euro 2024

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John McGinn will be a key man for Scotland at Euro 2024Credit: AFP
Strachan is tipping Scott McTominay to have a big say in Germany too

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Strachan is tipping Scott McTominay to have a big say in Germany tooCredit: Kenny Ramsay

Listen, let’s be honest, I don’t see us scoring two or three goals a game.

But, going into the tournament, none of the three teams in our group will be looking forward to playing against Scotland.

I think our lads know that. They know people don’t like playing against them because of their attributes.

The lads will just want to get started now.

They’ll want to get to Germany and settle into the team hotel and training camp. It’ll feel real then.

For some, there will have been a bit of uncertainly in the last week as they worried about whether or not they were going to make the cut for the final squad.

That couldn’t have been easy.

I remember Tommy Burns missing out for the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

The reason I remember it is because he was still going on about it when I worked with him at Celtic!

He said Jock Stein told him he’d give him a call.

Tam said, ‘I’ve been sitting beside that phone for 30 years now waiting for it to ring!’

It was funny and we had a laugh about it but it wouldn’t have been funny at the time, that’s for sure.

The boys now will also be glad the friendly games are over with and they can focus on Germany next Friday. That’s certainly how Steve will be thinking about it.

I’m not sure that he would have learned too much from the warm-up games against Gibraltar and Finland.

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That first game in Faro on Monday made sense because it gave many of the players minutes on the pitch.

But I’d bet that after 57 minutes, when it was still 0-0, Steve would have been quite happy to call it a day and get back up the road.

Seriously, I’ve been there.

I wonder if Steve would have preferred three days of good coaching with his players.

Finland pulled Scotland back from 2-0 down

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Finland pulled Scotland back from 2-0 downCredit: Kenny Ramsay

He could even have played a game against each other if he wanted.
For me, as a manager, I would have taken those three extra days to work on various things.

But then the Scottish FA still have to make money, that’s the reality of it, so they no doubt insisted on a match.

As a manager you just have to understand that is how the business works.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

But isn’t it just great that we’ve qualified for another tournament and the whole country is excited about the next few weeks?

I certainly can’t wait.

New YouTube channel

Subscribe to our new Scottish Sun Sport YouTube channel for all the latest football news, views and videos as Scotland heads to the Euros.

Watch our daily GoBallistic podcast with Roger Hannah and our SunSport team in Germany as the Tartan Army marches on Munich in search of glory.

Subscribe now and don’t miss a moment. Herr we go!

Next stop: Germany!

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Next stop: Germany!Credit: AFP

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