MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 16:30:09
Nov 17, 2018 at 7.45pm UK
AlbaniaAlbania
0-4
Scotland

Mavraj (22')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Fraser (14'), Fletcher (45' pen.), Forrest (55', 67')

Scotland are focused on Euro 2020 qualification – Shinnie

Scotland are focused on Euro 2020 qualification – Shinnie
© Reuters
The Scots have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

Graeme Shinnie has stressed that the Scotland squad are every bit as keen as the Tartan Army to get to Euro 2020.

The Scots have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

Alex McLeish's side found a speedbump to the next European Championships via the inaugural Nations League, in their last Group C1 game in Haifa when they lost 2-1 to Israel to go three points behind the section leaders

Scotland  are preparing for the final double-header in Albania on Saturday night which comes before the visit of Israel next Tuesday and the 27-year-old Aberdeen midfielder insists qualification is just as important to the players.

He said: "The squad is desperate to qualify like the whole nation is and yes, we know the importance of it and we are all determined to do that as a squad.

"It is something that we are working hard for.

"It is never easy as has been shown over the last few years, it is never an easy thing to do but we are but it is something that we are desperate to try to get.

"It is obviously in our own hands so it is up to us to go out and do the business.

"We will work hard this week, we have a good week to prepare for the game and everybody is looking forward to it."

Some pressure descended on McLeish and his players following the dismal display against Israel.

That  sense doom and gloom has increased as the number of call-offs this week have increased, the latest being Shinnie's Pittodrie team Mikey Devlin, who was replaced by Celtic's Jack Hendry after withdrawing through a knee injury.

However, Shinnie believes the Scotland squad has the character to come through.

He said: "Football is always pressure.  There is pressure in many different ways and if you are a player and can't deal with that then you probably shouldn't be in football.

"We know that everyone in the squad can handle it, they prove it a club level and it is about going out and proving it on the day.

"It obviously wasn't a great night (in Israel) and the performance wasn't what we wanted it to be.

"We lose the game and there is always going to be criticism, I have experienced that at club football, that's just what happens. But it is in our hands now and it us up to us to go and turn it around.

"These two games are massive for us and if we can win both of them you will get the plaudits so you take the good and the bad.

"We obviously had the game here against Albania (2-0 win) and it will be tougher away.

"Israel got beat over there but if we can play to our full potential we know it is a game we can go and win.

"So it is a game the whole squad is looking forward to and we will try to turn things around from the last result."


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Scotland manager Alex McLeish pictured on October 11, 2018
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2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
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6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
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9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
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12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
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15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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