Scotland defender Jack Hendry won’t reveal what the team’s plan is for shackling Erling Haaland but says he is looking forward to facing the striker in Norway this weekend.
As Steve Clarke’s team prepare for the Euro 2024 qualifier, all eyes are on Norwegian striker Haaland, who has been in devastating form for Manchester City this season.
The 22-year-old has hit 52 goals in 53 games as the English side won the Premier League, FA Cup and then the Champions League.
That marks the forward out as the primary threat in a talented Norway team and Hendry says he won’t divulge just how Scotland hope to ensure he has a quiet night on Saturday.
“I think we’ll keep that amongst ourselves in the group,” he said. “I don’t want to give too much away.”
Hendry says Scotland will be looking at an approach that nullifies all of Norway’s attack but when it comes to the superstar striker, he says it won’t be the first he’s faced.
“A lot of people have tried to stop him this season and they haven’t done,” he said. “He’s an amazing player with an amazing record.
“But we’ll be taking a look at the full team and how to combat that.
“We’ll do our best but it’s something that I’ll definitely be relishing if I get called upon to try to get the better of him.
“I’ve had that experience playing in the Champions League with Club Bruges, playing against top strikers like Kylian Mbappe before and that will give me great experience going into that type of contest.”
He added: “Not just big names, every game I am going into, I will have a quick look at the strikers I am coming up against, what their movements etc might be,” he said.
“Like Haaland, with every other player, I will study them and see how they are going to play and come up with a best solution on how to deal with them.
“But playing against top strikers like Mbappe will give me great experience going into these type of contests.
“The more games you play at that level the more confidence it gives you and I am lucky enough to have played quite a few games at that level now.
“I know that’s the level I can play at and I get a real excitement out of coming up against these type of players. It’s something the full team are looking forward to.”
Scotland have had a perfect start to the qualifying group, defeating Cyprus and Spain at Hampden to sit top of the section ahead of the double-header against Norway and Georgia. Hendry says the focus that led to those successes won’t change for these matches.
“I think we just concentrate on ourselves going into these games,” he said. “We did that going into the first two and if we keep on doing that it’ll put us in good stead.
“We can only do what we’ve got to do and that’s go into those games and try and win them.”