Former Scotland midfielder John Collins insists the national team has gone backwards

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Former Scotland midfielder John Collins insists the national team has gone backwards in the last year under Gordon Strachan following a promising start.

Collins pulled no punches about the state of Scotland on the eve of the crucial World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley.

The ex-Celtic player and assistant manager insists the country has been in decline since the 1-0 defeat away to Georgia in September 2015 effectively put paid to Scotland’s hopes of reaching the European Championship finals in France during the summer.

johncollinsA disappointing start to the current World Cup qualifying campaign has left Strachan’s side playing catch-up after last month’s draw with Lithuania and heavy defeat to Slovakia.

And Collins, part of the Scotland team that last played in a major finals at France 98, insists the country has regressed.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: “The first year he was in the job, we played some terrific football and there was excitement in the county.

“In the first 12 months we moved forward, I think in the last 12 months we haven’t moved forward, we’ve stagnated and if anything we’ve slid backwards.

“We had a poor end to the last campaign after a very good start to it and it died away.

“We’ve had a poor start in this tournament, the first three games have been disappointing.

“We won comfortably in Malta but the last two were very poor, Lithuania at home – you have to win your home games and that was disappointing.

“To lose three-nil away to Slovakia was bitterly disappointing so we’re under pressure and we need a result against England.”

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