Scotland v Israel: Play-off pressure will lift team – Kenny McLean

Kenny McLean training with his Scotland team-mates at the Oriam
McLean (centre) was one of only eight Scotland players to take part in training on Monday
Venue: Hampden Park, Date: Thursday 8 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on Radio Scotland & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

The “weight of expectation” will bring the best out of Scotland for Thursday’s Euro 2020 play-off against Israel, insists Kenny McLean.

The winners of the one-off tie at Hampden will progress to meet either Norway or Serbia for a place at next summer’s rearranged championship.

Scotland have not been at a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

“If these games don’t excite you, then you shouldn’t be here,” said Norwich midfielder McLean.

“This is a massive game for the country; we need to go and perform.

“All the boys know how big it is. Expectation and pressure are brilliant. There’s so much riding on this and it’s great to be involved. We’re ready and really looking forward to it.”

McLean won his 11th cap in last month’s unconvincing 2-1 win away to a hastily assembled Czech Republic side after the original squad had to self-isolate.

That followed a 1-1 draw at Hampden with Thursday’s opponents in the opening game of the new Nations League campaign.

McLean insists there is “a lot more to come” from Scotland and he is sure the side Steve Clarke selects will “rise to the occasion” at an empty national stadium.

Only eight players at first training session

The former Aberdeen and St Mirren midfielder, an unused substitute for Norwich’s 1-0 home defeat to Derby on Saturday, was one of only eight players to train on Monday morning.

Some of those who played on Sunday had not yet arrived, while others, including Nottingham Forest defender Scott McKenna, are being assessed for injuries.

“It’s not ideal, there’s no getting away from it,” said coach Steven Reid. “But I’m more than confident we can get enough done with the players (that are fit) in the two days remaining.”

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