NEIL McCann is convinced Gordon Strachan has Scotland on the up again – but has warned there can be no ‘hard-luck stories’ in qualification this time round.
The former Scotland winger believes the current side should be targeting at least four points from Saturday’s World Cup qualifier at home to Lithuania and Tuesday’s trip to face Slovakia.
In the wake of the impressive opening 5-1 thrashing of Malta, the 42-year-old believes that would leave the Scots well placed in a Group F that also includes Auld Enemy England and Slovenia.
But, having suffered so many disappointments since qualifying for the country’s last major finals in 1998, McCann insists the boys in dark blue need to shake off past misfortunes.
The ex-Hearts and Rangers attacker said: “I think we are going the right way under Gordon Strachan but this campaign has to be a big campaign.
“It’s no use talking about hard-luck stories any more.
“I think we’ve got players in that squad that can hurt teams and Leigh Griffiths being back fit hopefully will add some fire-power up top for us as well.
“So, I’d be looking for four points from these two games as a very, very good return.”
McCann does not expect things to go all Scotland’s way in the double-header but reckons a victory against Lithuania is a realistic goal.
However, the 42-year-old believes England’s struggles before clinching a hard-fought 1-0 success against Slovakia with a 95th minute winner from Adam Lallana last month is a warning for Tuesday’s visit to Trnava.
McCann added on Sky Sports: “We started off with the comfortable win and we’ve got to look to take three points from Lithuania at home.
“And then going away to Slovakia I think a point would be a good result.
“We saw how difficult a game that would be when England went over there and snatched a last-gasp winner.
“Lithuania have proved they are no mugs and it will be a hard game for us.
“But we have to get the shoulders pinned back and think ‘we are a good side’.”