John Carver wants Scotland squad to embrace importance of Hungary clash

The Scots have never before got out of the group stages at a major tournament.

John Carver wants Scotland squad to embrace importance of Hungary clash Getty Images

John Carver wants the Scotland players to contemplate the country’s biggest ever victory when they face Hungary in their Euro 2024 crunch game on Sunday.

Scotland, who have never qualified for the knockout stages of a major tournament, have just one point from their first two Group A matches against Germany and Switzerland.

However, a win against Hungary in Stuttgart would almost certainly see Steve Clarke’s side into the last 16, a feat which would eclipse all the previous Scotland sides.

“We can’t hide away from it because it’s true, it’s a fact,” said Carver, who revealed defender Kieran Tierney is out of the tournament and on his way home due to a hamstring injury.

“Let’s see how the game develops and plays out but if we do it we will be the first team to do it and people will remember the team to do it for the first time.

“That’s what they have to think about in the back of their minds.

“These guys have got us to this tournament and we deserve to be there.

“They have put all the work and effort in to get us to where we are – why can’t we go one step further and take it to that next level? Because that’s what we want, we all want that and there is no reason why we can’t after what we saw a couple of days ago.”

Carver, a Geordie, admitted feeling emotional when recalling the rendition of Flower of Scotland before the 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Cologne on Wednesday night.

He said: “When I listened to Flower of Scotland – and I am getting a little emotional here – it was the loudest I have ever heard.

“It brought a lump to my throat. If that can’t inspire these guys after what they did the other (night) then…

“We might get beat because the opposition is better than us but it won’t be for the want of trying.”

Unfortunately for Clarke and the Tartan Army, one person who will not be there is Tierney who came off on a stretcher in the second half against Switzerland.

“Obviously he had an issue with his hamstring the other night and was stretchered off,” said Carver, who revealed midfielder Ryan Jack is “under the weather” ahead of the final Group A match.

“He is heading home to be assessed by Arsenal and that’s all I can really say at the moment.

“They will give updates as they have it but he is obviously extremely disappointed.

“If we do progress and move through the tournament I am sure he will be back to support us

“It is a blow because he is one of our top players and in tournament football you need your best players on the park and in particular with him he gives that balance down the left-hand side with Andy Robertson and Callum McGregor and they combine really well.

“So whenever any team loses their best players then it will affect the situation but also, it is an opportunity for somebody else to step in.”

Scotland use the back three in part to accommodate Tierney and Liverpool left-back and Scotland captain Robertson and the loss of the Arsenal full-back could see a change in formation.

He said: “Steve has always talked about being flexible.

“For a long spell we worked with the a three and changed it before we played Ukraine a few years ago.

“We are flexible but I am not going to give a great deal away but there is a possibility there.”

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