Scotland captain Andy Robertson has called on his team-mates to thrive on the pressure of their must-win game against Belgium and show they enjoy playing for their country.
Robertson claimed on Friday that Scotland were a “bag of nerves” after losing their early lead in a 2-1 defeat by Russia, which left them six points off second place in their Euro 2020 qualifying group.
But the Liverpool left-back is confident there is a strong enough mentality in the squad to cope with the added pressure that comes with representing a nation.
The 25-year-old said: “I believe if we don’t win then this group is too much work for us. We need a result.
“We are playing against the best team in the world so it’s going to be tough but we need to give our all, play with no fear and try and enjoy it – because I don’t feel we look as if we are enjoying it as much as we probably should be when we represent our country.
“Put a smile on our faces, enjoy playing football and try getting the result we need.
“It’s about trying to enjoy the pressure and thriving on it. We all play with pressure at our clubs. If you look at the whole squad, last season everyone was playing for something. That’s the pressure we deal with every single week.
“But sometimes playing for your country is that added pressure. This squad is able to deal with it, there’s not a doubt about that, but maybe on Friday we didn’t quite learn from the game as much.
“The last ten minutes we put three long free-kicks in and the keeper came and collected all three. We should have read when he was coming to the 18-yard line.”
The former Queen’s Park, Dundee United and Hull City player added: “At your club level you are maybe representing a town or a city, when you are coming up here you are representing your whole country. Everyone wants us to do well and everyone wants us to get to tournaments and support us in that way.
“But that’s pressure we want. As kids, if you said we’d be in the Scotland squad, we would have been over the moon.
“All of us know how to deal with it but it’s about showing it on the pitch. We have maybe not done that enough and it’s about stepping up now and showing we want to play for our country, showing how proud we are to play for our country, and the result can follow.”