MX23RW : Friday, April 26 06:22:06| >> :600:14652666:14652666:

James McFadden tells Scotland to forget fear and seize chance

James McFadden tells Scotland to forget fear and seize chance
© Getty Images
The Scots take on Albania and Israel later this month.

Scotland assistant boss James McFadden has told Alex McLeish’s squad to forget about fear and instead seize the chance to make themselves national heroes.

The Scots take on Albania and Israel later this month knowing back-to-back wins could see them top their Nations League group and put them within touching distance of Euro 2020.

That is the positive spin on what has been a frustrating start to UEFA’s new competition, with victory in their Group C1 opener against the Albanians followed up by a limp display in Haifa as the Scots slumped against Israel.

A repeat of that lethargic performance would heap fresh scorn on McLeish and his team but McFadden has urged the players to focus on the opportunity to end the country’s two-decade wait for a national tournament than obsess on the consequences of defeat.

“It’s important that the players are looking forward to it,” said the former Motherwell, Everton and Birmingham striker.

“Of course there is pressure on the game but don’t be fearful. Meet the challenge of winning the two games, winning the group and setting us up for the play-offs and the main qualifying campaign.

“The challenge is there for guys to go and score goals, to be match-winners, to be heroes. We feel the group we have got are the right mix for that.

“It is now or never because if we don’t win the two games, then we don’t win the group.

“If we win the two games then we win the group and it’s as simple as that. It’s in our own hands and we’re happy about that.

“It’s a great opportunity to go and win a game against two sides we’ve played before.

“We were disappointed over in Israel – we understand that – but we’re up against two teams we feel we should be beating so there’s nothing to fear for us.”

One player who has done his best to ensure he is in contention to play a part is Ryan Christie.

The Celtic midfielder looked to be on the periphery of Brendan Rodgers’ Parkhead plans once again this term but has fought his way into the Hoops line-up in recent weeks and repaid his manager’s faith with a goal in each of his last three outings.

“He’s been brilliant and it’s no surprise,” insisted McFadden. “Everybody knows he’s got the ability and it’s great to see him having such an impact in the Celtic side.

“In the summer, it looked like it might be another loan move for him but he’s decided to stick it out and fair play to him.

“He’s waited for his chance and has now taken it with both hands. He’s a terrific football player and I’m delighted for him.

“You’ve seen for yourselves that his performance levels have been really high and that’s great. If he can stay in the Celtic side that is only a good thing for Scotland.

“I’m delighted for him as it shows a lot of toughness to stick it out and finally put on the performances that everybody knows he is capable of.”


Click here for more stories about James McFadden

Click here for more stories about Albania

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account