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Strachan has given Scotland players freedom to express ourselves - Everton's Naismith

Steven Naismith feels Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has given the players in the squad the go-ahead to play with freedom.

The Scots have improved greatly this year under Strachan, with their development culminating in Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Croatia, and Everton forward Naismith is thrilled with how things are panning out under the former Celtic gaffer.

"Having the freedom to express ourselves is probably the biggest change under the manager," he said.

"I can't remember being in a squad and having as much optimism for a campaign coming up, especially when we have guys like James Morrison, (Robert) Snodgrass and (Barry) Bannan who can all cut through defences.

"It's about focusing on what we're good at because we know if we keep the ball well and create chances we'll hurt teams.

"We have to take this forward into the next campaign now. You could say there has been less pressure on us because there hasn't been much to play for.

"But we've won three from the last four and it's up to us to go on and fulfil our potential now.

"It will be a long few months because we could do with the next match being soon but that will give the manager plenty of time to look at things.

"He'll have the chance to look at other players and hopefully make the squad even better."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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