KIERAN TIERNEY has admitted the dazzling form of his Celtic team-mate James Forrest will act as inspiration as Scotland prepare for the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Alex McLeish’s team have the benefit of a safety net in the shape of a play-off semi-final which was secured with the UEFA Nations League triumphs over Albania and Israel.
Hoops winger Forrest was on fire in both games, hitting a double during the 4-0 win in Albania and claiming a hat-trick in the 3-2 triumph over the Israelis at Hampden.
The tricky raider’s five-goal haul has ensured his country will go into the opening double-header in Kazakhstan and San Marino in March with confidence.
REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 20TH OF NOVEMBER…James Forrest celbrates his three-goal fireworks against Israel. Pic: Geo.
Tierney said: “It’s a tough group. You are going to expect that. It’s more tough games, more big-pressure games for us all and we look forward to them.
“The last couple of games were pleasing for us. Obviously, James Forrest was something special for us in those games. His last few seasons have been incredible and to play alongside him is special for me.”
Scotland were also drawn against World Cup semi-finalists Belgium, who won 4-0 in a Hampden friendly in September, but Dedryck Boyata’s team suffered a sensational 5-2 setback against Switzerland to miss out on the Nations League Finals.
McLeish’s men will also have to fight it out with Russia, most likely for second place behind the Belgians, while Cyprus are the sixth nation in Group I.