The Courier

Scots took step forward by being on front foot, says Charlie Mulgrew

Charlie Mulgrew.

Charlie Mulgrew believes being on the front foot is the reason why Scotland are off and running in the Nations League.

Alex McLeish’s men had the fans feeling so much better on Monday night against Albania at Hampden than they had three days earlier when losing heavily to Belgium at the same venue in a friendly.

The 2-0 win over the Albanians was maybe a small step but it meant the Scots are looking in decent shape in League C, Group 1 ahead of next month’s trip to Israel.

The standard of opposition dropped considerably from Friday night, with the brilliant Belgians replaced by an Albanian team that was all over the place at the back and wasteful up front.

Nevertheless, it was an enterprising and attacking display that restored at least some optimism.

Blackburn Rovers central defender Mulgrew said: “We are happy with the performance.

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“It was about us being on the front foot. We knew the big game was the Albania one and we wanted to get off to a good start.

“They are a decent side – better than what people give them credit for. They were at the last Euros so that shows they have quality.

“But it was about us pressing from the front and playing with a nothing-to-lose attitude.

“We wanted to impose our style on them and we did it.

“We were aware we haven’t started other campaigns the way we should have so we knew we had to be on the front foot this time.

“I thought in the first half we were unlucky not to be ahead but thankfully we got a couple of goals in the second half.

“These are important qualifying games and that is how we have approached it.”