Stuart Armstrong says Scotland focused on kicking on after England draw

Stuart Armstrong (PA Wire)
16:28pm, Sun 20 Jun 2021
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Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong aims to lift the nation further after being heartened by the reaction to their unexpected point at Wembley.

The mood of the Scotland fans was temporarily deflated after their first major tournament game in 23 years ended with a 2-0 Hampden defeat by Czech Republic.

But they raised themselves for the Auld Enemy clash and acclaimed the performance that kept hopes of progress alive.

Scotland will almost certainly qualify if they can beat Croatia at Hampden on Tuesday and Armstrong is taking inspiration from the effect their draw with England has had.

Scotland fans (PA Wire)

“To see the reactions has been fantastic,” the Southampton player said.

“I’m not big on social media but seeing that directly from family and friends sending bits and pieces through, it’s great to see that our performance and point against England brought a lot of confidence and smiles to the faces of the country.

“To build on that and give them something to cheer about on Tuesday is our ambition and focus.

“After the first game there was a lot of disappointment around the result and we knew we had to get something from the game, be that one point or three points.

“To come way with what we set out to achieve was obviously massive for us and it sets us up for the final game.”

Stuart Armstrong (PA Wire)

The goalless draw punctured some of the confidence from England fans and pundits who expected a comfortable home victory.

“Obviously, there was a lot of expectation from them that they should win the game,” Armstrong said. “We didn’t listen to that.

“We knew our own qualities and how we wanted to play and, of course, how we wanted to improve or own performance from the first game. I think we did that.

“The boys defended superbly for the whole game. We stifled them, frustrated them and we came out with a very well-deserved point.”

Scotland now need to sharpen up in the attacking third as they seek their first goal of the European Championship.

“It would be a problem if we weren’t creating any chances,” Armstrong said.

“We have had quite a few chances, some good opportunities. It’s just those fine margins that will take us to the next level, get us a goal, which we do need on Tuesday.”

Che Adams (PA Wire)

The former Celtic midfielder started against the Czechs before coming off the bench against England and his on-field understanding with Southampton team-mate Che Adams could be a possible route to goal.

“I thought he was excellent at Wembley, a really good performance, a hard performance against good quality defenders,” Armstrong said.

“So it was really pleasing for me to see him perform so well, and I have obviously seen that every week at Southampton.

“To get on the pitch together would be nice, and link up. As long as the ball goes in the net, I’m not too bothered.”

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