Pat Nevin believes Gordon Strachan remains the best option to lead the national team

Scotland still have an outside chance to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals and Gordon Strachan remains the best man to lead them, says Pat Nevin.

Strachan’s side remain fourth in the Group F table after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with leaders England.

“It definitely is a possibility,” said former Scotland winger Nevin of their chances of finishing group runners-up.

“The manager’s getting the best out of the group he’s got. Is anyone better than him around? I doubt it.”

The eight best runners-up in Europe’s nine groups go into the play-offs to reach the finals in Russia.

But Strachan’s side presently lie four points behind second-top Slovakia and three off Slovenia.

‘If you play with heart, there is a chance’

“Slovakia play Slovenia next and if they draw and everything else goes to plan, i.e. England win all their games, then Scotland have to win all their games,” said former winger Nevin.

“So it is a possibility and Strachan knows it is that much of a possibility – not a certainty, not even a probability.

Nevin earned 28 Scotland caps and was in the squad for the European Championships in 1992

“But, if you play with the heart the way Scotland did at the weekend there, there is a chance, but it is no more than that.”

It was expected that Strachan’s future as head coach would again be questioned had they lost to England.

However, Nevin thinks the former Celtic boss continues to do a good job even though Harry Kane’s stoppage-time equaliser was another blow to Scotland’s qualification chances.

‘There’s nobody out there that’s any better’

“I don’t think he’ll want to stay when we’re finally out of it and he suggested that,” Nevin added.

“You don’t generally get more out of that group than he gets out of them – phenomenal work-rate, great spirit and keep on fighting until the end.

“Look at the amount of late goals Scotland have already scored in this campaign, not just the two against England.

“Any managers in any sport, in business, you name it, what’s your job? You maximise what you can get out of the personalities you’ve got there.

“He does that 100%. Is there anybody else in the wings we should be playing?

“Well, there’s nobody out there that’s any better. There’s some that are similar to the players that we’ve got.”

Pat Nevin says Leigh Griffiths’ display, and goals, against England prove that he can lead the line for Scotland

Meanwhile, Nevin thinks Leigh Griffiths’ two goals against England – the first time he has found the net in 13 internationals – should settle the question of who should be first-choice striker.

“He worked his socks off in that game and he was up against decent players,” Nevin said.

“Given the opportunity, he will probably score goals. He missed a couple of chances, but let’s forget about them because those two free-kicks were absolutely astonishing.

“It didn’t surprise me that he scored them, but what was really disappointing was that it didn’t surprise me that Scotland also blew it at the end as well. We’ve done it so many times before.”

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