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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
McLeish proud of superb Scotland
Scotland manager Alex McLeish
McLeish has led his side to the top of Group B
Scotland manager Alex McLeish said his players showed great commitment and passion as they beat France 1-0 in Paris in their Euro 2008 qualifier.

James McFadden scored the only goal as Scotland moved top of Group B.

And McLeish said: "I'm very proud of the players. It's great they get a reward for all their hard work.

"They showed commitment, passion - everything in abundance. That match gives me one of the greatest nights of my football life."

There is still a lot of work to achieve - we are not qualified yet

Scotland manager Alex McLeish

Scotland are now two points clear of France at the top of Group B after beating them at both Hampden Park last year and now the Parc des Princes.

"My players showed a great deal of confidence, we needed something special, we knew that a win would be hard to get," added McLeish.

"We gave the Scottish fans something to celebrate and I'm glad that my players stood up against a very good French team.

"We have all made a nation very, very happy. I think this goal is one of the greatest and most important for Scottish football."

606: DEBATE

Scotland, one point clear of second-placed Italy, have three games left to seal their qualification for Euro 2008.

And McLeish has warned his team that with matches against Ukraine, Italy and Georgia still to come reaching the finals in Switzerland and Austria is by no means certain.

"I've always believed in us," said the Scots boss.

"Now I don't think France are out of the way and, as far as we are concerned, the challenge is still there for Scotland.

"We are facing three important and difficult games. There is still a lot of work to achieve. We are not qualified yet."

We controlled the match better but we did not have that little spark of success

France coach Raymond Domenech

Goal hero McFadden's second half strike from 35 yards stunned the Parc des Princes.

"We trained last night and the balls were flying everywhere, so I thought, why not?" he told BBC Scotland.

"We came here and nobody expected us to get anything, but we've got so much belief in this team, and we've shown through again."

Scotland midfielder Paul Hartley said the players deserved credit for their battling performance.

"It's brilliant. What a result," he said.

"It just doesn't get any better. A fantastic performance by everybody. What team spirit.

"We've got a long way to go, but we're in the driving seat now."

But France coach Raymond Domenech cut a frustrated figure after the result and bemoaned his side's missing spark.

"I think we were overall better than in our first leg against Scotland, we controlled the match better but we did not have that little spark of success," said Domenech.

"We are very unhappy to have lost, this is not a comfortable situation for us.

"We did all we could, the players cannot be blamed for the loss. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just does no work."



SEE ALSO
France 0-1 Scotland
12 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 qualifying as it happened
12 Sep 07 |  Internationals
International photos
12 Sep 07 |  Football


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