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Scott McTominay: 'We cannot afford to lose to England'

Scott McTominay: 'We cannot afford to lose to England'
© Reuters
Steve Clarke's men lost their opener against the Czech Republic.

Scott McTominay admits Scotland cannot leave Wembley with anything less than a Euro 2020 point against England on Friday.

The Scots' return to a major finals for the first time in 23 years started with a 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic in their Group D opener at Hampden Park.

Steve Clarke's side face Croatia in their final fixture in Glasgow next week and the Manchester United midfielder acknowledged how crucial a positive result against the Auld Enemy is if they are to retain hopes of qualifying out of the group.

He said: "Most definitely we are going there to win the game but most definitely don't lose the game.

"That's first and foremost. We have to get a result.

"It's as simple as that. For us, that's the sole focus of the group at the minute.

"We've had 24 hours after the (Czech) game to digest what happened and the mistakes that were made – that's in front of goal and defending as well.

"I'm sure you'll see a big reaction and players who are hungry to win the game and do it for everyone in Scotland."

McTominay believes the return to fitness of defender Kieran Tierney, who missed the Czech defeat with a niggle, is a "big deal."

He said: "We need him back. He's a top player and an amazing character and someone we want back in the team.

"He's someone we need and we rely on him a lot for what he brings to the squad.

"He's a big personality and a great character within the group.

"I don't know if he is playing or not, but it's exciting to see him back training and being involved again."

McTominay has not spoken to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson about the game but will visualise the proud Scot, who brought him to Old Trafford, at the side of the pitch urging Scotland on.

He said: "I'm sure he will be sat at home watching and wanting us to win and expecting us to win as well.

"I'll have those thoughts in my head. I'll imagine him being on the sidelines."

McTominay is "excited" about playing against United team-mate Marcus Rashford while admitting he has not spoken to Old Trafford defender Luke Shaw about the game.

He said: "What he (Rashford) has done off the pitch has been nothing short of incredible.

"The way he has conducted himself on and off the football pitch has been an absolute breath of fresh air and for myself to play against him tomorrow will be exciting.  I can't wait for it.

"It will be a strange moment, obviously, having played together for so many years.

"Since the age of eight, going through the academy at Manchester United and to be playing against each other tomorrow night will be fun."

As for Shaw, McTominay said: "We've not said one word. We'll leave that until after the game.

"I'm sure I'll see him then and it will be nice to see him but hopefully he won't have a smile on his face."

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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