Ryan Christie: Scotland players know significance of winning in Cyprus

The Bournemouth attacker says it's exciting to be back with the national team.

Ryan Christie insists Scotland’s players don’t need to be reminded of the importance of a positive result against Cyprus – but warned that the national side face a tough test on Friday.

Four wins from four qualifiers have Scotland at the top of Euro 2024 qualifying group A, and three points in Larnaca would be a significant step towards booking a place at next year’s finals.

A win over Cyprus could even be enough to guarantee qualification if results elsewhere fall Scotland’s way over the next seven days.

While the Tartan Army calculates permutations in the group and starts to eye flights and hotels for Germany next summer, Bournemouth attacker Christie says it the importance of a win on Friday hasn’t been a major topic of discussion since he joined up with the Scotland squad but that doesn’t mean it isn’t on their minds.

“It doesn’t need to be spoken about,” he said. “We all kind of know it.  

“We have started well but it is only halfway in the group and we’ve been on the opposite side of the coin and managed to claw our way back into groups, so we know how it can change.

“Friday’s a big game and if you want to qualify for tournaments then you need to go to places like this and pick up three points.

“We’ve probably had the best run of fixtures. We’ve still got to play Spain away and Georgia away, which are tough games as well.”

Christie has picked up 39 caps since making his debut in 2017 but his first goal came two years after his first appearance, and was against Friday’s opponents in Nicosia.

He was happy to remember a special moment but also underlined how Scotland couldn’t take a repeat of that victory for granted.

“Very good memories,” he said. “My memories are that it was tough, that’s my first memory.

“It’s easy for onlookers or supporters to overlook Cyprus but especially when you’re away from home against these guys they make it so hard.

“We will be expecting the same on Friday. We know that we will have to be at our best to take three points.”

Scotland’s perfect points return from the first half of the group, earned from wins over Cyprus, Spain, Georgia and Norway, have sure a positive feeling in the camp and Christie is no different from other players who have talked about how good it is to be part of the squad right now.

“It’s exciting.” he said. “Winning games helps with that feeling, obviously.

“We’re on a good run and we want to continue that, especially this part of the year when you get a run of meeting up every month.”

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