JAMES McArthur has admitted his stunning goal against Germany on Monday “doesn’t mean anything now” as thoughts turn towards Poland next month, and a game Scotland cannot afford to lose.
The midfielder was an impressive performer in the Euro 2016 qualifying defeat to Germany after being brought back into the side by Gordon Strachan. He feared his equaliser in the eventual 3-2 loss might not count due to offside against James Morrison, who ducked as the ball sped over his head into the net past Manuel Neuer.
“I had one [like that] for Crystal Palace recently and that got chalked off – and rightly so,” said McArthur. “But it doesn’t really mean anything now though does it? It is a feather in the cap scoring against the best keeper in the world but it is all about the team.
“We need to go again [against Poland],” he added. “We have put in a really good performance against the best players in the world. They obviously cut us open at times especially towards the end but we were trying to chase and harry them. We were trying to give the fans something to cheer about – hopefully they can be proud of us.”
McArthur described the atmosphere at Hampden on Monday as the best he’d experienced at the ground. But he conceded Ireland, four points ahead of Scotland in Group D, were now in pole position to reach the play-offs, at least.
“I would rather be in their position than ours to be honest,” he said. “It is what it is but we will go again and try and get two wins [v Poland and Gibraltar].
“We can’t really think about what has happened. We move forward fast and the next game is coming fast so hopefully we can make third place and give the fans and nation something to cheer about.”
Scotland will tackle Poland without James Morrison, who is suspended after picking up a third booking of the campaign against Germany. The midfielder sailed close to the wind on a couple of occasions after picking up his caution.
“I thought I was going to be sent off,” he admitted. “The referee showed a bit of common sense because neither of them were bad challenges. Both were fouls but that’s because it’s hard to stop good players going past you. I wasn’t reckless, but I won’t lie because for a second I thought I might get a red card. I’m banned for the Poland game now, which is really disappointing. I needed to make tackles out there and we have enough in the squad for other lads to come in and do a job.
“I can be involved in the Gibraltar game so I’ll still be coming up,” he added. “We have a good squad here, that’s what we’re all about and we win or lose together.”