Monday 18 November 2019

Strachan hits back at Lewandowski foul claims

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Roddy Forsyth

If his defenders cope as well with Robert Lewandowski as Gordon Strachan did yesterday, Scotland will have one foot in the Euro 2016 play-offs.

The Bayern Munich striker, who has been on fire with 12 goals in four games for his club, attempted to reignite the controversy generated by a Gordon Greer challenge on him when the Scots visited Warsaw last year to turn the heat on Viktor Kassai, the Hungarian referee in charge at Hampden tonight.

Greer earned a caution in the 2-2 draw after a tackle which broke the striker's shinguard and, according to Lewandowski, left him unable to run. Strachan refused to say that Scotland were more sinned against than sinning, but produced the figures to prove as much.

"These are the stats for all our group games - 110 fouls by Poland, 80 by us and 15 yellow cards shown to Poland against 13 shown to us. I asked for that this morning because I thought it would be a theme," said Strachan.

However, the statistic which casts the most ominous shadow over Scotland's prospects is the Polish scoring record of 29 goals in eight qualifiers, which makes them the most prolific of any of the 53 contenders.

"Poland have a good side with a special player, that's for sure. I think Lewandowski has been the best player in the world for the past month. He can create a goal out of nothing. We can't, at this moment in time."

Asked if he would protect a draw with Poland in the dying stages, if he knew that Ireland were behind to Germany, Strachan's response took the form of a strong hint. "I can't say, but my thought is - win the game," he replied. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Scotland v Poland, Live, Sky Sports 2, 7.45

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