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Stuart Armstrong happy to bring smiles to Scotland with England draw

Stuart Armstrong happy to bring smiles to Scotland with England draw
© Reuters
Friday's goalless game at Wembley has put smiles back on Scottish faces after their Euro 2020 campaign got off to a bad start against Czech Republic.

Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong aims to lift the nation further after being heartened by the reaction to their unexpected point at Wembley.

The mood of the Scotland fans was temporarily deflated after their first major tournament game in 23 years ended with a 2-0 Hampden defeat by Czech Republic.

But they raised themselves for the Auld Enemy clash and acclaimed the performance that kept hopes of progress alive.

Scotland will almost certainly qualify if they can beat Croatia at Hampden on Tuesday and Armstrong is taking inspiration from the effect their draw with England has had.

Scotland fans
Scotland fans hailed their team at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

"To see the reactions has been fantastic," the Southampton player said.

"I'm not big on social media but seeing that directly from family and friends sending bits and pieces through, it's great to see that our performance and point against England brought a lot of confidence and smiles to the faces of the country.

"To build on that and give them something to cheer about on Tuesday is our ambition and focus.

"After the first game there was a lot of disappointment around the result and we knew we had to get something from the game, be that one point or three points.

"To come way with what we set out to achieve was obviously massive for us and it sets us up for the final game."

Stuart Armstrong
Armstrong in action against the Czechs (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The goalless draw punctured some of the confidence from England fans and pundits who expected a comfortable home victory.

"Obviously, there was a lot of expectation from them that they should win the game," Armstrong said. "We didn't listen to that.

"We knew our own qualities and how we wanted to play and, of course, how we wanted to improve or own performance from the first game. I think we did that.

"The boys defended superbly for the whole game. We stifled them, frustrated them and we came out with a very well-deserved point."

Scotland now need to sharpen up in the attacking third as they seek their first goal of the European Championship.

"It would be a problem if we weren't creating any chances," Armstrong said.

"We have had quite a few chances, some good opportunities. It's just those fine margins that will take us to the next level, get us a goal, which we do need on Tuesday."

Che Adams
Che Adams was lively at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

The former Celtic midfielder started against the Czechs before coming off the bench against England and his on-field understanding with Southampton team-mate Che Adams could be a possible route to goal.

"I thought he was excellent at Wembley, a really good performance, a hard performance against good quality defenders," Armstrong said.

"So it was really pleasing for me to see him perform so well, and I have obviously seen that every week at Southampton.

"To get on the pitch together would be nice, and link up. As long as the ball goes in the net, I'm not too bothered."

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Southampton's Danny Ings celebrates scoring against Burnley in the Premier League on April 4, 2021
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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