Alex McLeish: International sides now ‘terrified’ to face Scotland

The former Scotland boss believes there's a fear factor around Steve Clarke's side now.

Alex McLeish: International sides now ‘terrified’ to face Scotland SNS Group

Alex McLeish believes Scotland’s stunning win over Spain has got teams “terrified” to face Steve Clarke’s side.

The Scots got off to a terrific start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in March with a 3-0 home win over Cyprus and a more unlikely 2-0 victory over Group A’s top seeds, also at Hampden Park.

With six points from six, Clarke’s side will travel to Norway for their June 17 clash before hosting Georgia in Glasgow three days later.

Speaking at Hampden Park, where he was promoting Viaplay’s live and exclusive coverage of the Norway and Georgia matches, the former Scotland boss said: “Every game is a threat and we can’t go into any game with complacency.

“The fact that we have beaten Spain has probably got everybody terrified of playing against Scotland so we now have that status.

“Any game is tough at international level, it is a whole new ball game but at the same time we have become a little bit fearful to a lot of countries who are going to play against Scotland because of recent results.

“The Spanish one elevated us to another level.

“First and foremost one of the things people fear is when they see results such as the Spanish one and they think, ‘Scotland beating Spain, God’s sake’.

“That is a wee bonus but of course you have to reach the same levels in every game.

“It is not going to be easy but if we can get a positive result, there is no looking back, we have to be positive.

“If we get the results we expect now from the Scotland national team that will stand us in good stead.”

Clarke’s side, in the first match of the double-header, have to stop Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

The 22-year-old helped Pep Guardiola’s side write themselves into history after finally claiming Champions League glory when they beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the Istanbul final on Saturday night, to complete the treble of league, FA Cup and Champions League triumphs.

The former Aberdeen and Scotland centre-back was asked how he would deal with Haaland, who scored 58 goals for club and country last season, if he were still playing.

McLeish said: “What a player he is. He is phenomenal.

“How would I deal with him? Well back in the day I would have dealt with him in a different way than you can now because of VAR etc.

“He is a handful but a great challenge for our defenders. They have grown in stature and to go against Haaland is another challenge for them. You can’t take your eye off him for a second.

“It is about concentration. The boys at the back have the capabilities of dealing with those types of players but you cannot let him be free at all in the box.”

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