Ex-Saints boss prepares for international duty

Daily Echo: Gordon Strachan Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan agrees with Mark McGhee that his Scotland players are almost over-enthusiastic at times - but he knows they have to be self-motivated to allow him to do his job.

Strachan takes charge of Scotland for the first time tonight in the friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie with the players naturally eager to impress their new manager.

McGhee revealed on Monday that they had needed to calm the players down during their first training session.

But former Coventry, Saints, Celtic and Middlesbrough manager Strachan knows he will have to suppress his own temperament at times further on in his role.

Predecessor Craig Levein recently admitted that he never felt fully in control as an international manager given he was effectively "borrowing" the players and Strachan admits the different dynamics will pose a challenge.

Strachan said: "They are passionate boys - they want to work hard and do well.

"And in trying to do well, they can sometimes be a bit frantic, but there is nothing wrong with that - that is something we can curtail.

"The players are self-motivated anyway, and they know I have not just turned up from another planet. I know them anyway.

"I'm sure the crowd will be terrific and that the players will enjoy that more than me standing at the side.

"The players have to be self-motivated. As an international manager you cannot demand the same as you do as a club manager.

"You don't pay their wages, they come along because they want to be here.

"You ask them to do things and you hope that the motivation is there one way or another - whether it is being a great player or doing it for your family and friends - they have to have some sort of self-motivation."

Strachan admitted he had been struck by the excitement, constant pressure and the physical demands of being a manager again after two years out the game, but the unique nature of international management had yet to fully kick in.

"At this stage it has been the same as a club manager, you have to get to know them, you have to have a sense of humour with these guys," he said.

"It's in the heat of the battle where you have to curtail yourself.

"I must make sure I send all these players back feeling positive about themselves."

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