Steven Thompson fears Scotland may have to beat England at Wembley to revive World Cup dream



STEVEN Thompson fears Scotland may now have to beat England at Wembley to revive their World Cup dream.

Saturday night’s deeply disappointing draw with Lithuania left the Scots in second place in Group F but with pressure already heaped on their shoulders as they seek to make up the points lost.

With two away fixtures next up – against Slovakia on Tuesday and then England next month – many fear the failure to defeat Lithuania, the fourth seeds in the group, could prove fatal to Scotland’s hopes of making it to Russia in 2018.

(Pic: ZakNelson1995)
Scotland visit Wembley on November 11 (Pic: ZakNelson1995)

And Thompson, who scored three times in 16 appearances for Scotland, reckons Gordon Strachan’s side now need a massive turn around in their forthcoming demanding away trips if they are to get the qualification campaign back on track.

He said: “I don’t think we’re doomed, but we’re going to have to find something from somewhere we didn’t expect it, and that might be at Wembley, it might be in Slovakia on Tuesday night, I don’t know.

“It’s not a good sign that you come up against the second-worst team in your group and really struggle, and they really struggled at Hampden to put in a performance.

“The bottom line is it’s not good enough. It wasn’t good enough for Scotland to draw 1-1 with a last-minute goal.

“Lithuania defended really well and will be disappointed to have lost the goal. It was the first time in the match that they went to sleep a wee bit, and (James) McArthur was unmarked and headed home.

“But, for me, it wasn’t good enough.”

Thompson joined in the debate that raged before and after the game over the inclusion of Chris Martin in attack instead of either Leigh Griffiths or Steven Fletcher.


The former Rangers, Dundee United and St Mirren target man reckons Martin enjoyed flashes of influence but disagreed with Strachan’s assessment that the on-loan Fulham marksman had been ‘outstanding’.

Thompson added: “There were frailties, there were disappointments and there will be questions asked.

“Chris Martin, did he justify his selection? He had a couple of efforts on goal, he was maybe unlucky with a header.

“But a guy who hasn’t scored in 20 club games didn’t score again and didn’t really carry that much of a threat.

“Yes, we were direct to him and he did link the play on occasion, but it wasn’t an outstanding performance, for me.

“An outstanding performance would have seen a goal in there somewhere.”

Thompson also questioned Strachan’s insistence before the match that Scotland did not need to take three points from the visit of Lithuania.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, the 37-year-old said: “For Gordon Strachan to say before the game it wasn’t a must-win game, well is the next one now a must-win game?”