MARK McGhee believes Scotland players should be inspired by the prospect of facing World Cup winners Germany in their opening 2016 European Championship qualifier on September 7.
The Germans captured the trophy for the first time in 24 years with a 1-0 extra-time win over Argentina in Rio’s Maracana stadium on Sunday night thanks to a goal from substitute Mario Gotze.
Their next competitive game will be against Scotland in the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, a daunting task for the Scots who have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.
Gordon Strachan’s side will also take on Georgia, Poland, Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar in Group D as they aim to reach the next European finals in France
Scotland assistant boss McGhee had no qualms in describing Germany as “thoroughly deserved winners” of the world’s biggest football competition and is looking for the Scots players to go all out to ensure they are in the starting XI when they meet in Dortmund.
“I am hoping it (Germany’s win) will inspire the players between now and then to be in the team for that game,” he said.
“What a game to play in, to walk out with the World champions in an arena like that, you should want to play in that game for no other reason.
“It is a fantastic incentive for players to be in form, to be fit, to be there, ready to be picked to be played in that game.
“You are going to have to play someone decent and we knew already how difficult that is going to be, even before the World Cup started.
“For us, it won’t be about finishing above Germany, it will be about finishing above the others.
“So regardless of what happens in Dortmund we still have a chance of qualifying if we keep improving as we have been doing.”
Former Aberdeen, Hamburg and Celtic striker McGhee smiled when asked jokingly about Scotland becoming unofficial World Champions by beating Germany.
He said: “That’s the way we will read it and that’s the way the Tartan Army will see it and that’s what the prize will be, the first to beat them, possibly, although I do understand they have a friendly before they play us, against Argentina again, but we are looking forward to it.
“It is a fantastic stadium in Dortmund. I made my debut there for Hamburg.
“It is a terrific footballing arena and I think it will be rocking and rolling that night.”
McGhee also cast his eyes towards Scotland’s friendly against England at Celtic Park in November 18, which was confirmed this morning.
The game will take place four days after the home Euro qualifier against Republic of Ireland, also to be played at Parkhead.
The Scots lost 3-2 to the Auld Enemy at Wembley last year in an entertaining friendly game which McGhee believes justified a return encounter.
“The game at Wembley was a fabulous advert for British football,” he said.
“It was a brilliant game. We obviously lost in the end when we ran out of energy but the crowd was brilliant and were well behaved and we felt it was a good idea to do it again.
“So we look forward to that.”