Under-fire Gordon Strachan is the right man for Scotland, insists Norwich City defender Russell Martin

Norwich City's Scotland defender Russell Martin endured a tough international break. Photo: Danny La

Norwich City's Scotland defender Russell Martin endured a tough international break. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Norwich City captain Russell Martin wants Gordon Strachan to lead Scotland into a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifying derby against England next month amid mounting calls for his dismissal after a wretched international period.

Scotland's chances of making it to Russia were dealt a major blow with a 3-0 midweek defeat in Slovakia compounding a disappointing 1-1 Hampden Park draw against Lithuania last weekend.

Martin launched a staunch defence of the national team boss despite a weak showing in Trnava that leaves the Scots trailing Group F leaders England by three points, ahead of next month's trip to Wembley.

'We all believe in him and his staff. 100pc,' he said. 'The spirit he has fostered over the last two years doesn't change. We haven't put the performances in for him that we wanted to and that's down to us, not the manager. We have to accept responsibility for that.

'I can tell you now we're 100pc behind him, he believes in us, we believe in him. We're three points off the top of the group, so judge us at the end of the campaign.


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'It is a disappointing result. We felt their was a foul in the build up to the first goal but even after that we were brave and tried to move the ball and broke the lines a lot. We were a bit sloppy at times but we were comfortable and felt we could get back into the game but once the second went in it deflated us.'

Martin believes England's dropped points in Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Slovenia leaves the group wide open.

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'It's a tight group and it's going to be like that all the way,' he said. 'For us that's the one hope, we're three points off the top and we play the group leaders in the next game.

'It's not for lack of effort these last two results, there's plenty of fight, there's plenty of determination. We need to make better decisions at times as players. We're in the fight, we're still in the mix. We've shown before that we have the character to bounce back and we need to do it again. The lads are fighting. Probably outside the group there is not a huge belief we can do something, especially after the Lithuania result. but we have massive belief. We have a big game coming up in November. We need a major result at some point in the group and with teams taking points off each other then if we can get a result at Wembley, the tide turns.'

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