Northern Ireland assured of play-off place following Scotland's draw in Slovenia

Martin Dubravka of Slovakia dives as Leigh Griffiths of Scotland hits the crossbar from a free kick during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group F Qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia

Plenty of Scotland fans are in agreement with Chris Sutton's concise verdict of their qualification campaign

As a result, Slovakia moved up to second place after beating Malta 3-0 - thanks to two goals from Adam Nemec and one from Ondrej Duda - but the result may not be enough to seal a spot in the playoffs as they are now UEFA's worst runner-up and can only qualify if Wales or Croatia draw.

Victory for Scotland in their final group match would have guaranteed them second spot behind England and Leigh Griffiths' goal gave them a half-time lead.

"What I do know is that, genetically, we're behind", the former Celtic boss said in his post-match press conference. Fans can't hurt like them, I can't hurt like them, so there shouldn't be any talk about what I'm thinking, what I'm doing at this moment in time.

Manager Gordon Strachan's future is unclear and there are members of the squad considering their worldwide futures before the inaugural Nations League and subsequent Euro 2020 campaign, with the latter not beginning until March 2019.

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They haven't exactly struggled in recent years and Strachan is only fooling himself if he thinks Scotland's problem is their size. The Scot previously led Cardiff up to the Premier League, but his reputation later took a knock following allegations of "racist, sexist and homophobic" messages, although in the end he wasn't charged by the FA.

"They gave it a right good shot and left nothing in the dressing room".

"We knew set plays would be a problem and they scored from two set plays".

"We just can't play the biggest people in Scotland".

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"But we seem to be able to fight it and battle it with determination, skill and work rate". That is what has happened tonight.

"They can be really proud of themselves and it is an honour to be their coach".

But he continued in denial mode, telling journalists: "Nobody can tell me their technique, apart from one player, is better than any of ours". "I don't think there's any man better for the job".

Your team is getting over-run in midfield and the two players who are the most energetic (and they happen to be in the form of their lives) don't even get on as substitutes.

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The 31-year-old, who won his third US Open title last month, maintained his momentum in the second set to seal the victory. But still I didn't have the control of the match for nearly all the time.

'We've just been beaten in the end on goal difference to Slovakia who are an excellent side.

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