Burke starts with Strach as new era begins well

IT'S always good to see a new regime get off to a winning start – and Gordon Strachan was right to be relatively satisfied with Wednesday's win up at Pittodrie.

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Chris Burke made his first Scotland appearance for seven years in the win over Estonia
Chris Burke made his first Scotland appearance for seven years in the win over Estonia

And before anyone scoffs that Scotland's 1-0 victory came over Estonia, then they are a team who managed to get to the Euro 2012 play-offs, a feat that the Dark Blues failed to accomplish.

One of the biggest positives of the night was the performance of former Rangers kid Chris Burke. I thought he and Shaun Maloney were absolutely outstanding in that first 45 minutes.

Burke has been out of the international spotlight but, on Wednesday's evidence, he definitely still has plenty to offer. It is good that Gordon is prepared to take a look at everyone and give out second chances to those who may feel as though the national team was passing them by.

I also think that playing Steven Fletcher up front, with Maloney just behind him, worked well. With guys like Burke and Steven Naismith also up there for any attacking moves, there were always plenty of bodies in the box.

Overall, I felt there was a positive feeling to the team. We looked as though we were up for it and there was a sense of purpose and optimism.

We all know that the big test comes next month with Wales and Serbia, but it was important just to get the new regime off to a good start – it gets everyone onside from the first kick and that can be so vital.

Hopefully the country can get behind the team because the last thing we want is to finish bottom of the table in the World Cup qualifying campaign and slide into Pot 5 for the Euro draw.


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