Scotland boss Steve Clarke says he will be telling his players they can’t leave room for regret when they tackle Serbia in the Euro 2020 play-off final.
The match in Belgrade is all that stands between the team and a place in next summer’s finals with the current crop of players hoping to end a 22-year absence from major tournaments.
Clarke says his squad are well aware of the importance of the match and the task in front of them and his message is simply that they have to give everything they have to make their dream a reality.
“When you go into every game, it’s obviously a message you give, that you leave everything out there on the pitch.
“This game, with its magnitude, means I don’t need to say that because the players understand if they come off the pitch with regrets then they will never forget that night.
“You go out there, you do your best, you do everything you can and hopefully the footballing gods give you a bit of luck, they smile on you a bit and you get the right result.”
Scotland captain Andy Robertson echoed his manager’s thoughts.
“We will go out there and whether it’s 90 minutes or 120 we need to come away with no regrets,” he said. “We need to walk off thinking, ‘OK, we did our all there’.
“We believe if we do that, it will be enough. If it’s not, we’ll need to deal with that.
“It’s all been positive going into this game and we believe if we can put in the kind of performances we have done over the last couple of months it will be good enough to win the game.”
Clarke said that the players are calm ahead of what could be a historic night, saying that they could rely on habits formed over their eight-match unbeaten run.
“I think the players are grounded,” he said. “There’s no point in us getting carried away with ourselves. As a nation we’ve been here often before and not gotten over the line.
“This group of players, as I have said many times, understand what is at stake and what is needed to get the job done.
“Training has been good, as always. The players have been very keen, and very focused. They understand the task at hand.
“For us, it’s business as usual. It’s a game of football and we know that we can only win or lose. We know the magnitude of the prize at the end of it.
“But ultimately we need to rely on the principles and the way that we’ve been playing in recent matches.”
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