The Scots boss and his squad arrived in Belgrade yesterday licking their wounds following a dismal display in Friday night's 2-1 defeat to Wales in Glasgow which kept them rooted to the bottom of Group A with two points from five games. Strachan believes the best antidote for the hurt his squad have suffered subsequently would be three points against the Serbs.
"We are all hurting that's for sure," he said. "We are still in the process of making ourselves feel better The players realised it was an opportunity wasted and I realised that as well. It is hard but the only way you can get rid of your frustrations is by playing and winning games of football."
The former Scotland midfielder will make changes tonight, some enforced.
Already without Darren Fletcher, Scott Brown, Ross McCormack, Danny Fox, James Forrest and James Morrison, Strachan's squad was weakened further for the trip to Serbia when defender Russell Martin withdrew with a hamstring injury and midfielder Kris Commons stayed behind for personal reasons.
Robert Snodgrass is suspended for picking up two yellow cards against Wales which led to a call-up for Birmingham defender Paul Caddis.
"Against Wales we had a midfield group who had never played together at all," said Strachan.
"Some of them were playing out of position because of lack of numbers. Tonight, because of injuries, there will be a completely different midfield again, in terms of shape and personnel and that's the way it is going at the moment. But on the bright side it gives everyone a chance and it gives me a chance to see them playing football at this level."
Skipper Gary Caldwell believes there is enough within the Scottish squad to grab the first group win against the Serbs, who lost 2-0 to neighbours and bitter rivals Croatia on Friday.
"I think there is enough confidence and ability," he said. "It is just a case of going out and showing that on the night and getting it right over 90 minutes, getting a win under our belt and then trying to build on it. Friday was a massive disappointment for the group and for the country. But in football you have to keep going. There is no point dwelling on the past."
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