ARSENAL goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny insists the pressure is all on Poland ahead of tomorrow’s Euro 2016 crunch with Scotland despite their famous win against World Champions Germany.
The Poles snatched an historic victory against the Germans – the first time they have ever beaten them in 81 years and on their 19th attempt. Their confidence is sky high ahead of the clash with Gordon Strachan’s side. However, Szczesny is convinced that could actually work against his country because their passionate fans will expect them to ease to victory over Scotland now. And he admits he has plenty of respect for the visitors.
He said: “If there is pressure on anyone then it’s on us because we’ve just beaten Germany and people will now expect us to beat Scotland and beat them with ease, but that will never happen because they are a top side. We can’t allow ourselves to get complacent because that can happen after a big result. Scotland have fantastic players who have played in the English Premiership. Steven Fletcher and Darren Fletcher have been fantastic and so has Charlie Adam, who can’t even get in the team.
“We know Gordon Strachan is a very good manager because I followed him when he was at Celtic when my very good friend Artur Boruc played for him there and they enjoyed great success. It’s a big game on Tuesday night, probably more important than Saturday. We’ve got the three points from the Germany match, they’re already in the bag, and we enjoyed Saturday night but we still have to try and achieve the win over Scotland so that’s far more important.”
And Szczesny will urge his colleagues to remember what happened in March when the two nations played in the same National Stadium in Warsaw and the Scots won. He said: “We realise we need to be at our best to gain anything out of it. Scotland are a fantastic side and beat us in March.
“It was only 1-0 in a friendly but they beat us fair and square and I believe they played very well. We need to be at our best because they have players in their squad who have played maybe 200 or 300 games in the English Premiership so we need to be very focused.
“I don’t like to use the word revenge so I’m trying to forget about the friendly defeat to Scotland, although it’s probably somewhere in the back of our minds. It was only a friendly – Tuesday will be far more important.
“Scotland have made big steps forward. When we played them in March they looked like a very dangerous side and they’ve made big progress in the Fifa rankings as well so we know they’re improving and we’ve got to be focused.”
Szczesny is a huge admirer of Cardiff City and Scotland keeper David Marshall. And he admitted he was a worried man when Arsenal were strongly linked with a summer move for the former Celtic star.
He said: “What can I say about David Marshall? He’s been absolutely incredible and I heard rumours last season he was going to sign for Arsenal so I definitely wasn’t looking forward to that happening.
“He was one of the best goalkeepers in the English Premiership last season so I was worried he would take my place if he joined us. He deserves a move to the Premiership as he’s been terrific.
“He’s a top keeper so as much as you want competition, when I heard him linked with us I was like ‘Woooh, calm down!’”
Scotland fly out to Warsaw this morning and will train in the National Stadium this evening ahead of tomorrow night’s match, which will be shown live on Sky Sports 1.