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Scotland forward Steven Naismith admits his team-mates face a fight to save their international careers after becoming the first European country to be ruled out of the race to the World Cup.
Gordon Strachan's side can no longer qualify for next year's tournament in Brazil after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat in Serbia left them rooted to the bottom of Group A.
The Scots have failed to secure a single victory in a dismal campaign, which has seen them collect just two points from six games.
Although their World Cup hopes are over, Everton star Naismith insists Strachan's players must be 100 percent focused in the remaining fixtures against Croatia, Belgium and Macedonia because they are likely to be dropped for good if not.
"We've got very tough games but the players are playing for their future international careers," Naismith told BBC Scotland on Wednesday.
"I said earlier in the week that I think we've got to grow up in terms of digging in and being mature about when we need to sit in and soak up the pressure and when we need to expand and try to go for the goals.
"As players, that's what you need to do or you're going to find yourself out of the national team."
Despite back-to-back defeats against Wales and Serbia over the last week, Naismith disagreed with former Wales winger Mickey Thomas' claim that the current crop of players are the "worst Scotland team ever".
"The statistics don't lie but I think we are a better team than what he was saying," Naismith added.
"To be honest, I don't think too many in the dressing room are paying too much attention to what a Welshman is saying about the Scottish national team."