CALLUM McGREGOR is determined Scotland will maintain the feelgood factor as the nation prepares for its first major finals since the World Cup in France in 1998.

The Celtic midfielder and his international team-mates prepared for the Euro Finals with a praiseworthy 2-2 draw with Holland in Faro, Portugal in midweek.

Only a goal two minutes from the end by Dutch skipper Memphis Depay, following a controversial free-kick decision by the referee, prevented a victory after the Scots had twice led through goals from Jack Hendry and Kevin Nisbet, both players claiming their first strikes for the country.

Luxembourg are the next pre-tournament opponents on Sunday evening and then it is on to the real thing with Steve Clarke’s men opening with an encounter against the Czech Republic at Hampden on Monday, June 14 which will be followed by the intriguing match against England at Wembley four days later and the last match in Group D will be against Croatia in Glasgow on the 22nd.

PICK IT OUT…Kevin Nisbet fires Scotland’s second goal beyond Dutch keeper Tim Krul.

McGregor is looking forward to the experience and said: “We’re here to push and get results like that against the so-called better nations. So, Wednesday showed the boys that we belong at this level and there’s no reason why we can’t get more results like that.

“There’s nothing wrong with having confidence and belief in the group. On the outside, whether it be media or supporters, we want everybody to have that feelgood factor.

“But it’s been such a long time since we’ve qualified that we’re just enjoying that first step.

“We’ve enjoyed working at this level and it’s our job as a group – players, manager and coaches – that we always try to get better.”

The talented anchorman, speaking to STV, added: “There’s a real positive energy behind the team with it being the first time in a long time since we’ve qualified.

“People are quite rightly backing the team and getting behind us. We can feel that positive energy and in football, momentum and positivity can carry you a long way.

“As players, we’re here to work hard, do everything we can to help the team. So, along with that and some positive energy then who knows what can happen?

“But we go into the games one at a time and take them from there.”



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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