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Duncan Shearer: Hampden roared again when Scotland needed it most

Scotland fans at full time after the win against Israel.
Scotland fans at full time after the win against Israel.

Scotland’s dramatic triumph over Israel allowed the Tartan Army to roar again.

I know the pandemic has not gone away, but seeing the national stadium back like that again after the late 3-2 victory brought a smile to everyone’s face after what we have all gone through.

John McGinn said that after 39 caps, it was the first time he has been involved in a Hampden roar since he was a kid.

Even at home, I was on the edge of my sofa throughout the whole second half and I just loved it.

Scotland have done great for us over the last year and a half, and brought a lot of happiness to people. I have to give them a massive amount of credit for that.

The second half was the best I have seen from a Scotland team in a long time. The way they moved it about was brilliant to watch, and Israel looked dead on their feet.

We got exactly what we deserved in the end. It looked like we had run out of time and it wasn’t going to come.

It was a bit indifferent in the first half, we got off to a shaky start and I don’t think Steve Clarke will be happy with the two goals we conceded.

The response in the second half was brilliant – not just from the players, but tactically Steve was sound in everything he did.

It’s not easy going behind twice, but I always thought we looked really dangerous. I was pleased for Lyndon Dykes to get on the scoresheet after his missed penalty.

After looking back at it quite a few times, it looked as though it caught the end of his toe which took a bit of power out of it. I don’t think down the middle was where he wanted to put it.

You would never hear me tell off a striker for wanting to score a goal, but I would think someone else needs to take over that part of the game.

Lyndon Dykes celebrates netting to make it 2-2 against Israel.

It would have been horrible for him, and it was nice to hear Steve saying the boys wanted to help him along because he was really down about it. Thankfully VAR was kind to us and he got his goal.

It puts us in a great position now going into the Faroe Islands game. If they are not up for it now, they never will be.

I have played in the Faroes before and we need to just go and attack them.

We looked good going down the sides. Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson linked up fantastically down the left. Nathan Patterson came in and, although he had a shaky start, he settled into his role really well.

Steve Clarke celebrates Scotland’s win over Israel.

If people had asked if we would take this position at the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign, we would have. We might have wanted to be closer to Denmark, although we always knew they are a good team.

Steve would have been eyeing up that second place, there is no doubt about it. We’ve now got a wee gap with a bit of breathing space, but we still want to add another three points in Torshavn as other teams will now take points off each other.

Good displays will follow if Dons can end winless run at Dens Park

Stephen Glass needs to break out of this statistic hanging over Aberdeen, who go into Saturday evening’s game against Dundee without a win in their last nine games.

The same applies for both teams, as Dundee also need to start picking up points. The Dark Blues are bottom of the table, but will probably see this as a game where they can get going.

Leigh Griffiths is a player who was a thorn in the Dons’ side when he was at Celtic, so he will need to be watched closely.

Stephen Glass.

People say that this is the time in the season when performances go out the window. Trust me, at any time of the season that is the case.

We would all like to play this lovely passing football game and beat teams, but at times you just need to put your shoulder to the wheel and get the result. You can worry about the performance later on.

Winning games breeds that confidence. I have seen it at Caley Thistle, when boys will start to get confident on the ball and move it about in a way that’s a lot nicer on the eye.

First of all Aberdeen need wins to get everybody’s heads up, to get the supporters upbeat and try to get their season back on track.

Staggies need to start profiting from good performances

Ross County are also coming into a run of games where they need to start seeing points.

St Mirren will be another hard game as they have had a couple of good results, but Malky Mackay has pointed to the fact they have played all the top teams in the league. They are now coming into a run of games against the teams around them.

The Staggies are creating chances in every game, but they need to stop letting poor goals in. Goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer made a big mistake which cost them against Dundee United, and they need to shut the back door.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay.

Malky would take a scrappy 90th minute winner against the Buddies to kick-start their season. It’s fine when you are saying everybody is upbeat in training, and they might well be, but you can be sure that somewhere along the line they will not be playing well and creating chances.

That’s my worry about County, as there will be games when they don’t do that. No team will go through the whole season creating chances and playing well, so they have to find a way of picking up more points when they do.