Scotland Captain Scott Brown Says Belief Is Key
8 October 2015, 08:25
Skipper Scott Brown insists Scotland have to believe they can end their dismal qualification run and earn a place at Euro 2016 in France next summer.
The Scots have not reached the business end of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup which, coincidentally, was held in the same country.
With two Group D qualifiers remaining, against Poland at Hampden Park tonight and away to Gibraltar in Faro, Portugal, on Sunday, Gordon Strachan's side are in fourth place, four points behind Republic of Ireland, six behind the Poles and eight behind leaders Germany.
And while there are several permutations which will see the Scots win a play-off place, defeat against Poland will end all hopes.
However, the 30-year-old Celtic captain refused to entertain any negative thoughts.
He said: "It has been a long, long time since Scotland got to a (finals) campaign and we can all feel it on our shoulders.
"But we are positive and we have to go into this game as positive as we possibly can, trust in ourselves and believe that we can do this and go the next step and get to the Euros.
"I know it is going to be hard. We need to be strong all over the park and we need to be tight,
"We have to defend well and attack well as a team but I think those are our attributes.''
Indeed, the midfielder insists Scotland are in fine fettle ahead of the crunch encounter against a side with whom they drew 2-2 in Warsaw a year ago.
He said: "Everyone is on form, our strikers are scoring goals, our defenders are defending well and midfielders are playing well too.
"That is what you need going into these games.
"You have to have a lot of confidence and players in each position playing really well and we have got that throughout the squad.
"We have two huge games to put it right, hopefully.
"Everyone in the changing room is looking forward to the game and hopefully we can get the three points.''