After the somewhat underwhelming performance, yet undeniably satisfying result against Cyprus on Saturday at Hampden Park, Scotland now face the unenviable task of taking on Spain in our second Euro 2024 group match in this international break. It was a bit of a flat affair the opening gambit and was quite nervy when the match remained at 1-0 just five minutes or so before 90 minutes.
However, a superb cameo from our Manchester United star from the bench, Scott McTominay, saw us finish with a 3-0 win to put us top of Group A ahead of our glamour game with the Spanish on Tuesday night. Before that though, the game was very dull and it looked like we would just slither to a 1-0 victory. Aston Villa star, John McGinn even admitted to the display being really slow at points as did the national team’s coach, Steve Clarke post-match.
If we are to get anything from our second fixture in the qualifying group, then it has to be said, that Scotland must buck up their ideas and find their groove quickly, otherwise it could be an extremely long night during the mid-week game.
Former Scotland international and Chelsea star, Pat Nevin, has insisted that the Scots must up their game come Tuesday and called on our big-time players to help guide the national side to glory again at home. Nevin said: “We are dependent on McGinn, he is playing in a brilliant position, it suits him – he is much further forwards than most midfielders, he is almost playing as a ten sometimes,” as reported by The Herald. “He’s getting into good positions.”
As well as McGinn of course, Scotland have a cluster of international stars that play in the English Premier League, and Nevin has asserted that it is this strong base that got us over the course against Cyprus and also can see us through against Spain.
“The most important thing is that all Scotland’s top players from the Premier League, they turned up against Cyprus. Robertson was superb, McGinn was superb, Tierney was superb, McTominay comes on and does the business as well and Armstrong had a great 45 minutes in the first half as well,” Pat Nevin said.
Nevin added: “You are not going to get any breathing space against Spain, they are a very good team and if they think they had to work for it in the second half against Cyprus, they are going to have to work at least twice as hard against the Spanish. But one thing about these players under Stevie Clarke is that they have shown time and time again that they can lift themselves for the big games.”