Scotland aim for play-off with room to spare in Moldova as coach John Carver gives Kieran Tierney update
The Scotland assistant coach was speaking from Spain as Scotland continue their preparations for the final two games in their World Cup qualifying group. Tierney has been training despite missing Arsenal’s last four matches with an ankle knock.
He was on the bench in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Watford. “He looked great this morning, full of running,” reported Carver.
The Scots need just three points to confirm their place in the play-offs next March and Carver offered an assurance that they will be bidding to secure them as quickly as possible.
If they fail to beat the bottom seeds in the group them Scotland may well have to win against top seeds Denmark in front of a full house at Hampden on Monday. Carver would prefer to avoid such a high stakes denouement.
“That's our priority,” he said. “We've not looked at 'can we qualify, can we finish second, will we be seeded?'"All we're looking at is Friday night. That's the most important bit and if we can qualify on Friday night then we'll look to the future and look to the next game.
"But let's get the job done on Friday night. That's the most important bit.
"It's great that it's in our hands and that's only the case because of what we did in Austria, what we did at Hampden against Israel and more importantly, what we did in the Faroe Islands.”
New recruit Jacob Brown trained with the squad for the first time yesterday. The Stoke City striker is fresh from scoring his side’s winner against Luton Town on Saturday.
“I watched him in training this morning and I got excited by what I saw,” said Carver. “He’s different, he’s different to what we’ve got in the group.
“He’s got that little change of pace, he does things that you don’t expect him to do – and that can be difficult for defenders.
Scotland have welcomed Hearts defender John Souttar back into the fold. Carver watched him in person in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Dundee United and was impressed.
“I actually met John for the first time during my first Scotland camp a year ago. He was recovering from an Achilles tendon injury,” said the coach.
“We were talking about it today and I said ‘It must be difficult coming back from two’ and he said ‘John, it’s actually been three.’ Now, it would be difficult enough coming back from two, but he’s had three! To come back from that, doesn’t that show you something about his personality and his character?
“I remember seeing him earlier in the season – against St Mirren – and he played well in the game.
“We were obviously concerned about his conditioning, as he was coming back from these serious injuries. But when I watched him on Saturday you could tell he’d fully recovered, he was in a good position. I think he’s played almost every game. He was outstanding again on Saturday.”