CHARLIE Mulgrew is not getting carried away despite the boost of Scotland’s 1-0 European Championship qualifying win over Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park on Friday night.
Shaun Maloney’s well-worked goal with 15 minutes remaining gave the home side a narrow, but crucial, victory to take them level with Germany and the Irish on seven points, three behind Group D leaders Poland after four fixtures.
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Gordon Strachan’s men face minnows Gibraltar at Hampden Park in March before travelling to Dublin to face the Republic in June and Mulgrew, voted man of the match, is aware that the Tartan Army left Parkhead in a state of euphoria with qualification for Euro 2016 on their minds.
However, the Celtic midfielder believes that growing expectations could be dangerous.
The 28-year-old said: “Of course, that’s why we are keeping our feet on the ground and not looking too far ahead.
“We haven’t done it yet. We have had a few good results but we haven’t really done anything.
“We are moving forward and there is a lot of belief and a lot of quality in the squad but we are not getting carried away. There is a long, long way to go.
“We wanted to kick on after the last two games and to get the three points against Republic of Ireland gives us a lot of confidence.
“We are still in with a shout and we will see what happens but I don’t want to jump the gun.
“We are taking each game as it comes. It is a cliche but it is genuinely the way we are doing it.
“We are trying to get the three points in every match we are involved in.
“We will approach each game with the same attitude and if the attitude is like it has been then hopefully we won’t be far away but it was just another three points.”
Mulgrew was not surprised by the physical nature of a game which, at times, enjoyed some lenient refereeing by Serbian whistler Milorad Mazic.
The former Aberdeen and Wolves player said: “We knew it was going to be a battle, we knew it was going to be difficult but we also knew it would probably be a single goal that separated the two teams and I am delighted that it was us who got it.
“There was never going to be as much football as we would have liked but in these games we had to match their fight and determination and the goal was a result of a good bit of football.”
The Scots turn their attention to the challenge match against England at Celtic Park on Tuesday night.
Mulgrew, however, does not believe the crucial win over the Irish means they will be more relaxed against the Auld Enemy.
He said: “By the time that comes around we will be looking to go again.
“It will be a huge game. Even though it is named a friendly there is never a friendly between Scotland and England so we are looking forward to it.”
Scotland defender Steven Whittaker is relishing the prospect of another high-profile international even though points are not stake.
He said: “The attention was on the Republic of Ireland game but now I’m sure the build-up to the England game will be just as big and it’s something again we are looking forward to.
“We’ve matched Germany, drew in Poland and won on Friday night so we’re on the right tracks and obviously we want to get a good result on Tuesday night.”