Scotland must shake fear to keep Euros dream alive


Scotland will try to shake the “fear” which led to their Euro 2024 opening collapse when they face Switzerland on Wednesday, says captain Andy Robertson.

The Scots go into the match in Cologne knowing defeat against the Swiss would leave them needing a miracle to progress from Group A.

And off the back of the 5-1 opening game thumping against hosts Germany, Robertson explained that a team meeting was called to identify the issues.

“Maybe the occasion got to a couple of us,” said the Liverpool left-back.

“You saw in the qualifiers, we were full of belief, trust, we were going for every ball. Maybe on Friday we played with a little fear and that has to change.

“We know, and the whole country knows, we should have done better. We want to show this tournament what Scotland is about.”

It has been 366 days since Scotland stunned Norway late on in Oslo to claim the 2-1 victory which helped pave the road to these finals.

A win against Georgia at a rain-lashed Hampden came next, but only two victories have followed in the 11 matches since.

“We have to get back to being ourselves,” said Robertson. “We haven’t been ourselves… well, we weren’t on Friday.

“We have to remember what we were good at it before. We have to get back to trusting ourselves and whoever’s next to us on the pitch.”

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Clarke has a fully fit squad to pick from, with the obvious exception of defender Ryan Porteous who is suspended for Scotland’s remaining Group A games.

Grant Hanley came on at half-time in Munich and fellow centre-back Scott McKenna also featured from the bench, so will be in line to replace him.

Billy Gilmour and Lawrence Shankland might also be included in the starting XI after cameos on Friday.

Switzerland will consider starting Breel Embolo, who is building up fitness after returning from an ACL injury in April and scored from the bench against Hungary.

Scotland’s Anthony Ralston and Swiss duo Silvan Widmer and Remo Freuler would miss the final group game should they be booked in Cologne.

The 22-year-old won his first ATP title in Stuttgart on Sunday and continued his hot streak on the grass with a 55-minute victory against the world number 28.

Draper, who missed the British grass-court season last year through injury, set up a tantalising second-round encounter with reigning Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz on Thursday.

“We all know how good Carlos is, it’s an amazing match to test where I’m at. I can’t wait,” said Draper.

Elsewhere, compatriot Dan Evans had to retire with a knee injury after slipping during his opener against American opponent Brandon Nakashima.

There was better news for British number six Billy Harris, who earned the best win of his career by beating Argentine world number 32 Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

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