Glasgow (AFP) – Scotland captain Andy Robertson wants his side to inspire a nation in their first major international tournament for 23 years at Euro 2020.
The Scots begin their campaign on home soil in front of 12,000 fans at Hampden against the Czech Republic on Monday and will also have home advantage against Croatia in Group D after a trip to face England at Wembley on Friday.
Robertson was four the last time Scotland reached a finals at World Cup 1998 and even called on schools to scrap lessons for a 1400 local time (1300 GMT) kick-off against the Czechs.
“A lot of kids, teenagers, even people in their early twenties haven’t witnessed us ever in a major tournament,” said the Liverpool left-back on Sunday.
“The fact now that is going to happen, I hope it inspires a nation, I hope we can make them happy. You can feel a real buzz around the country already.
“The schools can maybe give them a pass to watch the game, we want the whole country behind us. For me it has been a long time coming, it’s up to us to try and keep a smile on their faces.”
Scotland have set up their training base in the north of England to avoid some of the fanfare around their return to a major tournament.
And manager Steve Clarke wants his players to balance the excitement without letting the pressure of the occasion get to them.
“I think when you qualify for the first time in 23 years you probably feel a little bit less pressure,” said Clarke.
“We’ve done well to be in the tournament, we’re looking forward to it, we’re going to give our best in every single game and try and make the next step to the knockout stages which would be a first for the men’s national team.
“I think the Tartan Army can get overexcited for us. We have to be excited, but we have to keep an emotional control so that when we get to the match we perform to our full potential and I feel we can do that.”
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