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Scotland’s new kit features a spider, drawn from the myth of Robert the Bruce’s sighting of an arachnid struggling to put together its web. The inclusion is apt given Scotland’s recent struggles to put together a consistent run of form.

The signs are however that Gordon Strachan and his men are turning the corner. Successive wins over Macedonia and Croatia and led many to believe that the Scot could be on the rise again.

With no World Cup to look forward to next summer, Strachan’s focus will be on building a team capable of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship.


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That quest began last January when the former Celtic manager replaced Craig Levein and will gather pace in the coming months starting with the friendlies against the USA on Friday and Norway next week.

Despite their status as end of year friendlies, Steven Naismith believes it is important that Scotland maintain their recent good run of three wins in their last four games.

“We have to keep this momentum going with good results,” said the Everton striker.

“We have two tough games coming up and we need to be on song. There is always something to play for.”

Scotland’s hopes of building consistency have been rocked by the withdrawal of a number of key players with Jordan Rhodes, wingers Chris Burke and James Forrest all out.

Leeds striker Ross McCormack with six goals in his last two league games for Leeds, has been called in for Blackburn striker Rhodes with Craig Conway and Gary Mackay-Stevens coming in on the wings.

Two players familiar to Scottish fans will be former Rangers players DaMarcus Beasley and Alejandro Bedoya, the pair now playing in Mexico and France, are part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23 man squad for the trip to Glasgow.

Beasley was in the team when the USA beat Scotland 5-1 in May 2012 but their 31 year old, set for his fourth successive world cup appearance next summer is expecting a much tougher game this time round.

“Scotland is improving with the new coach and they are playing the football Scottish fans want to see,” he said.

“They are building for the European qualifiers, so they have a lot of things to fight for, just like us.

“We are pushing for World Cup spots and they are trying to make their national team better, so it’s going to be a good game and not so much of a friendly.”

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.