Strachan hits out at wayward passing


Scotland manager Gordon Strachan bemoaned his side's inability to pass accurately following a 1-0 friendly defeat to Italy on Sunday.

Strachan's men failed to register a single shot on target in Malta as Graziano Pelle's second-half strike settled the encounter, which Italy should arguably have won by a greater margin.

And Strachan believes he knows the cause of his side's shortcomings in attack.

"I counted about eight or nine passes we gave away which you'd think we'd keep and do better," he is quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "No matter what system you use, if you can't do that you can understand it [the defeat].

"There might be some factors that some of the players have been away, some have been rested for a while, whereas the Italian lads have been on top of their game right until now.

"That's a problem for us, because a lot of people are playing the Championship, not at a top European level. And you're also playing against the Juventus back three and the goalkeeper who are fantastic.

"We'd have liked to have done more, but we know it's partly down to them and partly down to us.

"That clears the picture, so you now understand exactly what you need going into the top games.

"You can't get offensive if you can't pass the ball to each other. It's still the biggest secret in the game - whatever any coach tells you about systems, it's about players being able to beat people and pass, and we keep coming to this conversation every time. It's something I know, I wish somebody would just listen to me."

Scotland, who failed to qualify, take on Euro 2016 hosts France in a friendly on Saturday.