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Patterson: Scotland has the team and talent to reach play-offs

The Rangers defender is eagerly anticipating 'massive' World Cup qualifiers.

Patterson: Scotland has the team and talent to reach play-offs SNS Group

Nathan Patterson believes Scotland has the team and the talent to get the results they need in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, starting with a win over Israel on Saturday.

The Rangers defender broke into the squad for the European Championships earlier this year and now has his eyes on the World Cup, with Scotland aiming to end a long exile from the tournament by reaching Qatar 2022.

With Denmark the runaway leaders in the group, a runners-up place and play-off place looks to be Scotland’s most likely route to achieve their dream.

There is still work to be done to cement that place but Patterson knows the scale of the job and is confident it’s within the squad’s grasp.

“They are massive games,” said Patterson.

“We have a big one at home against Israel and then we need to travel away to Faroe Islands and we hope we can get the results we need.

“The games are coming thick and fast and we are looking to get the results we need to get to try to progress into the play-offs.

“We certainly have the team. We have a lot of talent in the team so we are certainly capable of doing it and just hope we can go on the pitch and get the results we need.

Hampden will welcome a sell-out crowd on Saturday for the visit of Israel and fans and players both know what to expect from a team that’s been regular opposition in recent competitions.

Patterson said: “The boys know it is a sell-out, they know how big a game it is and hopefully we can give a good performance for the fans.

“We have played them six times in the last three years.

“They are a top side, they have dangerous players, so we need to make sure we nullify their dangers and we can get the three points.” 

While the team strives to make the World Cup, Patterson is also taking huge strides personally, both at Rangers and in the international set-up. That’s brought attention and a lot of transfer speculation but he says he’s just concentrating on the job at hand.

He said: “Yes, that was obviously nice to see that teams are interested but I am only interested in playing football.

“That’s the stuff that comes with it and I am not really aware of anything that happens, I just go on the pitch and do my thing and let the outside talk.

“You need to keep your feet grounded and just focus on your football and that’s what I have been doing.

“In football you have media everywhere now, and you have everyone’s opinions.

“Sometimes you just need to block that out and focus on yourself, surround yourself with the right people and I feel as if I have done that. I have a good group of friends, good team-mates and family also who keep pushing me on to do well.

“I have been working really hard with all the coaches that have been helping me along the way and any time I get the opportunity I need to make sure I am ready to prove myself.

“I feel as if I have done that but I need to keep pushing on and hopefully get more opportunities.”