Steve Clarke: 'We know we have to win - hopefully we've learned lessons'

The Scotland manager has said 'we've been in this position before' as one victory stands between Scotland and the knockout stage.

Scotland march onto Stuttgart for the final group game against Hungary knowing a victory will allow them to qualify for the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Addressing the media before Sunday’s showdown, Steve Clarke pointed to the harsh lessons Scotland sides of the past have been dealt when in this position previously.

In the 2020 tournament, Scotland headed into the final group game with just one point, while opponents Croatia also needed a win to progress to the knockout stages.

Croatia came out 3-1 victors, ending Scotland’s hopes of progressing through to the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Clarke is adamant that his side can show they have “learned a few lessons”.

“We’ve been in this position before but hopefully we can show that we’ve learned a few lessons”, he told the media on Saturday evening.

“I think the mental side of the game is massive. We felt that in the first game and it was probably more the mental side that let us down.

“Hopefully we go to the match tomorrow and we do what we’re good at. If we do that we’ve got a chance.

“The whole tournament is a sense of occasion. For Scotland, the first major overseas tournament since 1998. I was still playing then, that was a long time ago.

“You can see how much the supporters out here are enjoying themselves. I am sure the five million at home are also engrossed in the tournament. It’s not just about this game, it’s about all the games.

“We know we have to win the game to progress to the next round and that’s what we’ll try to do.”

John McGinn does STV News

Scotland midfielder John McGinn has said “progression would mean everything” and said he is hopeful someone is the “hero”.

Addressing the media on Saturday, he said: “I’d take Big Gunny being the hero. Hopefully one of us will be a hero tomorrow night.

“Don’t really care if it’s an own goal, deflection or anything. We will take anything as it comes.

“I still think a lot of us still have a lot to give, especially me personally. I’ve not been involved offensively as much as I would hope.

“The opening game collectively, but personally it was one to forget and the second one was all about grit, determination, run, all that was missing in the first game.

“We’ve got levels to go up and hopefully we’ll get the games to show that.”

All attention now turns to Stuttgart at 8pm on Sunday night to see if Steve Clarke’s side can make history and become the first Scotland side to qualify for the knockout stages of a major tournament.

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