Though unable to push themselves back into contention to reach Brazil, the Tartan Army saw their side go out with a bang in a 2-0 win over Croatia at Hampden Park
Robert Snodgrass, who joined the squad late due to the birth of his daughter, headed home the opener before Steven Naismith reacted first when Barry Bannan's penalty was saved to fire home a second.
Scotland's first home victory of their qualification campaign saw them leapfrog Wales and finish fourth in Group A, an encouraging achievement given the dismal start to their campaign that saw them take two points from their first four matches.
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"[The night before], when you go to sleep, you imagine some victories but that was beyond a dream."
The former Southampton manager was particularly pleased with his side's back-to-back results against an excellent Croatia side, the group's top seeds, having also won 1-0 away in Zagreb.
"I was looking at some groups and there were some far easier than this one," he added. "Croatia, when we beat them [away], were third in the world yet Belgium beat them and that's what we were dealing with here.
"The players can take great confidence from this and go back to their clubs. There were good players watching from home and hopefully they were inspired by that, too."