Alex McLeish gaining confidence of Scotland fans 'slowly but surely', says Billy Dodds
McLeish has won consecutive matches as Scotland manager for the first time since October 2007 during his first stint in charge
Last Updated: 21/11/18 12:22pm
Alex McLeish is "slowly but surely" turning around the confidence of supporters in his management after Scotland clinched a Euro 2020 play-off place and Nations League promotion, says Billy Dodds.
Scotland beat Israel 3-2 in their must-win match at Hampden Park to win Nations League C1 and earn promotion to Group B, with a home play-off semi-final in March 2020 to come should they not seal an automatic Euro 2020 place.
McLeish received criticism after defeat against Israel in the reverse fixture in October dented their hopes of promotion but wins against Albania and Tuesday's comeback win have reignited renewed belief in the national side.
Results like last night and qualification can only mean that he is winning them over.
"He is turning them. Looking at Alex he will be delighted and relieved after last night just with the way it was going after the result in Haifa," Dodds told Sky Sports News.
"I was there to witness it. It was such a poor performance. Slowly but surely he is beginning to turn the Scotland fans. Results like last night and qualification can only mean that he is winning them over."
McLeish described the withdrawals of nine players from his squad through injury as "nothing sinister" last week and the Scotland manager fielded unchanged line-ups over the international break.
When asked about the notion McLeish had stumbled upon his successful selection, Dodds said: "He has got a good squad, a lot of players to come back because of the call-offs.
"These boys have done him proud - they are in front now in terms of selection.
"He has stumbled upon it but you have also got to give him credit for trying it because sometimes, being a former coach, you can be arrogant when it comes to your choice of players.
"Alex has tried it and it has worked for him because the balance was right and the players are playing their natural positions."
James Forrest, who was on the bench when Scotland lost to Israel last month, scored five goals in four days during the international break and Dodds believes Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers deserves particular praise for the winger's development.
"Over the last two years or so has added the final cross and certainly goals to his game. I think we have got to credit Brendan Rodgers with that because he has obviously worked on him," he added.
"It used to be a little frustrating when he got into that final third, he wanted to find a good cross and he was hitting the first man.
"But now the crosses are there and certainly the goals are flying in for him so fair credit to Brendan Rodgers."