GORDON Strachan's Scotland sent out a message to Ireland and their other rivals for Euro 2015 by claiming a morale-boosting win away to Poland last night.
The Scots are in a three-way fight with Ireland and Poland to finish behind the expected group winners Germany on the road to France 2016 and they have shown a marked improvement under Strachan, evidenced by the 1-0 win in Warsaw thanks to Scott Brown's goal.
The Scots were not the only winners last night from Ireland's Euro 2016 opponents as Germany beat Chile 1-0 at home, though the Germans were booed by a section of their support in Stuttgart.
Georgia overcame Liechtenstein 2-0 in Tblisi, while Gibraltar lost 2-0 to Estonia, but Scotland's win over Poland is a sign that they will compete in the qualifying campaign.
"We've laid down a marker ahead of the qualifiers," said goalscorer Brown after the win over a Poland side who were weakened by the absence of Robert Lewandowski.
"We got a good look at Poland and while they were missing a few players, so were we. They are a strong, physical team and probably didn't play as well as they can, but that was down to us.
"It is a psychological boost for our next visit here. You have to be strong mentally and we were.
"That's four away wins recently. The manager has found a system and it shows on the pitch."
Georgia had a relatively healthy crowd of 6,000 in Tblisi to see Temuri Ketsbaia's side earn a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein. Romanian-based striker Georgi Chanturai scored on his debut on 26 minutes, while midfielder Jano Aninadze added a penalty 14 minutes from time.
Gibraltar, beaten 4-1 at 'home' to the Faroe Islands in Portugal on Saturday, suffered a second defeat as fell 2-0 against Estonia, Dmitri Kruglov and Rimo Hunt scoring for the Baltic nation.