Scotland legend James McFadden insists Gordon Strachan’s side can beat England



Scotland legend James McFadden insists Gordon Strachan’s side are more than capable of beating England in June’s mouth-watering Auld Enemy showdown.

The Motherwell player/assistant manager was hugely encouraged by Sunday’s vital 1-0 victory over Slovenia as Scotland breathed life back into their World Cup qualifying Group F campaign.

Leaders England won 3-0 in last November’s Wembley clash but playmaker McFadden has backed the team can collect their first victory over Gareth Southgate’s side for the first time since 1999.

Speaking to Sky Sports, McFadden, who scored in memorable wins over the Netherlands and France, said: “It’s the big games we tend to do well in so we’ve got to go and believe that we can win the game.

“For large parts of the game at Wembley we were the better team. If we can tidy up at the back and put in that same level of performance we did against Slovenia then I think we’ve got a good chance of winning.

“I think now we can look forward, I’m not saying the hard work is done but generally these games take care of themselves.

“It’s a big game against our biggest rivals at home and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a full crowd and the players will be buzzing for it.

“We played well at Wembley and we’ve got to take that performance as well as this performance and result into that game and we’ve got a good chance of winning the game.

“If we can perform at that level then we’ve got to be confident.

“There is plenty of optimism and now we can go and have a right good go at them.

“The question before the game was do we have the mental strength to cope? And I think that was a resounding yes.”

McFadden, meanwhile, admits he was blown away by Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong’s international debut against the Slovenians.

Armstrong produced a dynamic performance and set up Chris Martin for the late winner.

McFadden added: “The energy he showed in the first half was great and the quality he showed for the goal was outstanding.

“That’s the performances that he’s been putting in week-in, week-out for Celtic and he’s managed to carry that over to the international scene, which is great for us as a country and it will be great for him.

“It will give him the confidence to kick on again. He is a level headed guy and well spoken and he won’t get carried away but he should take great confidence from this game and the way he has been playing all season.

“He’s got all the attributes, he is comfortable with both feet and he can play in attacking positions, he can play defensive, he can play a pass and he can score a goal.

“He is an intelligent person but he’s also a very intelligent player.”