Great times for Scots – Caldwell

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Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Gary Caldwell believes Scotland are in the midst of “great times” under Gordon Strachan, with the promise of more to come.

The Scots turned in another impressive performance in holding Poland to a 2-2 draw in their European Championship qualifier in Warsaw on Tuesday night as Group D took another surprising twist.

After losing to the Poles on Saturday, Germany came unstuck again when John O’Shea’s stoppage-time equaliser gave the Republic of Ireland a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen.

The world champions are level on four points with Scotland in fourth place as the Tartan Army turn their attention to the visit of Martin O’Neill’s side to Celtic Park next month, four days before a challenge match against old rivals England at the same venue.

Wigan defender Caldwell, who was at Celtic when Strachan was boss, and who won the last of his 55 caps in the 2-0 loss to Serbia in March 2013, is enthused by the prospect of such a high-profile double-header, with the visit of the Irish particularly enticing.

“With two former Celtic managers back at Celtic Park, I think the atmosphere will just be incredible,” the 32-year-old told TalkSport.

“As soon as the final whistle went last night, that was the first thing on my mind; what a big game that is going to be and I will be trying to get my tickets for it very shortly.

“It is great times, big games to look forward to and as a player those are the kind of games you want to be playing in.

“I am sure the boys who were playing last night will go back to their clubs full of confidence for their club games over the next few weeks and then look forward to those next two games.”

Caldwell believes Strachan has instilled an attacking threat which was perhaps missing when he was featuring in a dark blue shirt.

The visitors got off to a poor start in the Polish national stadium, though, when a mistake from right-back Alan Hutton gifted Krzysztof Maczynski an 11th-minute opener.

However, Scotland were soon level as midfielder Shaun Maloney despatched an Ikechi Anya pass.

The visitors took the lead in the 56th minute when Steven Naismith got the deftest of touches to James Morrison’s free-kick but Arkadiusz Milik levelled with 14 minutes remaining.

“I thought Scotland were excellent again,” the former Hibernian player said.

“To play in an atmosphere like that, go a goal down and come back into the game, take the lead and show great bravery on the ball and attack a team away from home, shows what Gordon Strachan has done and the positivity that is flying about the squad at the minute.

“That’s what results do – they give you confidence.

“It took Gordon Strachan a bit of time to get his methods across but, since he has done that, the team has gone from strength to strength and now we can see that confidence.

“We can see the attacking teams that he is picking because he believes his team can go anywhere and get a result.

“The teams I played in in the past, we were always pretty strong defensively.

“We always played quite a defensive formation and were hard to beat, hard to break down.

“The attacking players are the strong part of this team and we can set up to be quite a threat going forward and it is great to see.

“I think teams now will respect us for that and will be very wary of the threat that we pose up front.”

Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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