Strachan acknowledges French lesson

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The Scotland players struggled against an impressive French team

Gordon Strachan stressed that Scotland can learn from their recent friendly matches, despite being outplayed by France in a 3-0 defeat on Saturday.

The Euro 2016 hosts eased to their win in Metz, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice before Laurent Koscielny’s third.

“We have chosen to play some of the best teams in the world in the last four games to find out what we can do,” said Scotland manager Strachan.

“Sometimes you have to take a hard lesson, which we have.”

After wins against the Czech Republic and Denmark in March challenge matches, the Scots failed to shine against Italy in a 1-0 defeat in Malta last week before they were dismissed by Didier Deschamps’s side.

With Scotland having failed to qualify for the Euros this summer, Strachan will now prepare for their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier against Malta in September, a match which he believes will be all the better after his side’s French experience.

He said: “We have had four friendly games, we had to experiment, we have experimented and we take a lot of information from that, which is great, and we will debrief and see what is the best way to go forward.

The ease with which France cut Scotland open at times will have pained Gordon Strachan

“I do believe after the performances in the qualifiers, we do know that we are better than some teams in it and definitely as good as some teams that are in it.

“We know from the last Euro qualifiers that we can play football and score goals and play attractive football.

“We will now try and improve with the information we have got.”

Strachan praised the French side saying: “If there is a better team than them then we are in for a fantastic Euros.”

The former Scotland midfielder noted how well his players did, adding: “I’m not as tired as the players, that’s for sure.

“Those guys kept plugging away, it would have been easy to fold.

“It is easier for us to sit and think we could have done this, we could have done that, but when you are out there playing against a world-class side, it is harder for them than it is for us to watch it.

“For us to get anything and make any sort of progress in the game we have to be at our best and at times that didn’t happen.”

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