Wonder strike, but Euro exit hurts Steven Fletcher - yet he wants Strachan to stay as Scotland boss

Steven Fletcher marks his goal to put Scotland 2-1 up on Poland
Steven Fletcher marks his goal to put Scotland 2-1 up on Poland

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher wants Gordon Strachan to remain as Scotland manager, despite hopes of reaching the Euro 2016 finals in France next summer ending with a 2-2 draw against Poland last night.

In a pulsating encounter at Hampden Park, Poland skipper Robert Lewandowski gave the visitors the lead in the third minute, but wide-man Matt Ritchie thundered in a shot from outside the box seconds from the interval.

Fletcher put the home side ahead with a wonderful curling effort from 20 yards just after the hour mark, but, with the last kick of the ball following four added minutes, Lewandowski pounced again following a Kamil Grosicki free-kick to make it 2-2.

With Republic of Ireland beating Germany, Scotland missed out on the chance of a play-off spot. Strachan’s future will be debated in the days leading up to the final fixture against Gibraltar on Sunday.

However, Fletcher, who was “happy” with his finish, said: “We are going in the right direction, so I don’t see why there should be any change.

“We need to go (to Faro) and we need to win games.

“It is good for team spirit and hopefully we will do our job (on Sunday).

“It was disappointing. We thought we played well and put in a good performance and took the lead which we didn’t manage to hold on to. And then we got in and found out the other result (from Dublin).

“When you put in a performance like that you would expect to get something.”

When asked to sum up his feelings, boss Strachan said: “I’m like the rest of the nation, I’m hugely disappointed for the players. I’ve seen a group of lads give as much as they can give. To put that much work in and score two wonderful goals, I’m really proud of what they have done.”

Strachan’s future is unclear as his contract expires after Sunday, but he was in no mood to address that topic.

“Again, that is really unfair because there are guys in there hurting and for me to talk about myself is wrong,” he said.

“They are the priority at the moment, those guys in there. To talk about me is all wrong. I will leave that to other people.

“I have people in this building hurting and I need to look after them.”

Scotland: Marshall, Hutton, R Martin, Hanley, Whittaker, Forrest (Dorrans 84), Brown, D Fletcher (McArthur 74), Ritchie, Naismith (Maloney 69), S Fletcher. Subs: Gordon, Robertson, Greer, C Martin, Russell, Berra, Griffiths, Rhodes, McGregor. Booked: Brown, Hutton. Goals: Ritchie 45, S Fletcher 62.