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Mar 26, 2013

Strachan ready to ring Scotland changes

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has said he will make changes to his line-up in Serbia and wants to see how some of his players handle an intimidating away atmosphere.

Strachan, whose side lost 2-1 to Wales at Hampden in their last World Cup qualifier, believes now is the time to start looking ahead to the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

With the Scots winless and bottom of Group A, the former Celtic manager will ring the changes as he begins the process of revamping team.

That could mean starts for players including prolific Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes at the Karadjordje Stadium in Novi Sad, Strachan said.

"I apologise to any fans who think I'm devaluing the game, but I need to find out now if people can play away from home in a World Cup game and in a big atmosphere," he told reporters.

"There's no point waiting until one of these big games comes around in the next campaign. I need to find out now if they can deal with the demands that we're making of them."

He said he would look to pair Rhodes with another striker and did not want to use a lone front man, saying he believed the Blackburn man would benefit more from starting than - as he has been until now - being used as a late substitute.

Strachan said he had been furious with the way Scotland had played in the first half of their defeat by Wales, but stressed: "Everybody is getting another chance. Nobody who played who will be discarded, because there are good players there."

The manager will be without Celtic's Kris Commons, who has withdrawn from the squad for family reasons, and Norwich City defender Russell Martin, who has a hamstring injury.

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