Players like Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay reside within the Scotland squad at Euro 2020 – and former international Kenny Miller says the nation’s ‘big players’ can become legends this summer.
The Western Sydney Wanderers assistant manager achieved 69 caps for Scotland during his playing career, but never managed to make a major tournament. Scotland ended their 23-year wait for major finals football on Monday in the opening Euro 2020 match at Hampden, but Czech Republic ran out 2-0 winners.
Now England await on Friday in a mammoth Group D match at Wembley, Scotland needing a positive result against Gareth Southgate’s side and Croatia at Hampden to all but ensure a place in the last 16. Miller tells NTOF he believes players like Manchester United man McTominay could be key: “There’s a good strength to the squad.
“I think the last few games, we have seen that Steve Clarke (Scotland manager) has a clear idea of how he wants to play. Two strikers up front with each other that have had good seasons in Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes has helped. I think they can be a handful. I am one of the biggest fans of the squad.
“I think we have a really strong midfield and we always have. But now it is super-strong and I wouldn’t like to be Steve picking a midfield with the best three guys. There’s some real good options from people playing at the highest level. But it’s a good problem to have. It’s good having those choices but there has to be sacrifices.
“If you are playing a 3-5-2, you probably have to sacrifice Ryan Fraser and James Forrest on the wings, who have been really good players for Scotland over the years. We have good guys at big levels. Scott McTominay is playing for Manchester United and is a big player at a big level. These type of guys are getting the experiences of big games.”
Miller was eager to achieve tournament qualification as a player but fell just short, despite amassing almost 70 caps. The former striker started out under former Scotland manager Bertie Vogts and Miller believes the current squad should take advice from what Vogts’ assistant, Tommy Burns, told him: “We can’t get carried away.
“But I think we have a real opportunity to progress. I can always remember starting out with Bertie Vogts as Scotland manager and Tommy Burns was his assistant. Tommy said to be the best, the most successful Scotland team ever, you just have to get through to the knockout stages of a major tournament.
“This group still have a great opportunity to do that. You have the chance to get further in a tournament than any other team has before. It is easier to get through now and there is no getting away from that. But it’s still an opportunity, you just need one win.
“Portugal drew three group games in 2016 and went on to win it! I’m not saying we are going to win it but there’s a real opportunity to get out of this group. The England game is going to be a huge event. I am delighted for the Tartan Army as it has been a long wait for 23 years, I am sure they will look forward to it.
“It was a tough 13 or 14 years coming so close and falling at the final hurdle. But it was always going to come to an end. I am delighted that the duck is finally broken.”
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