“When it comes to these games, you’ve got to dip into your experience,” said Scotland captain, Andy Robertson.
The Liverpool left-back was speaking to Viaplay Sports after leading his nation to a first victory over Spain since the 1984 World Cup.
Robertson was keen to highlight the growing international pedigree within the Scotland squad.
Last night’s starting 11 for the 2-0 win featured seven players with more than 30 international caps under their belt.
Robertson, who leads the way with 61 caps, has enjoyed an impressive start to 2024 European Championship qualifying.
Two assists and a clean sheet in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat of Cyprus was followed by a further assist and clean sheet last evening.
His dispossession of Pedro Porro, which led to a precise cut-back for Scott McTominay’s sixth minute opener, was reminiscent of Robertson’s best form for Liverpool. Defined by intensity, desire and awareness.
In what has been a difficult club campaign for the 29-year-old, he will be keen to take this form back to Merseyside and to the Etihad this Saturday.
Liverpool sit seven points adrift of Tottenham in fourth, albeit with two games in hand.
With Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their next three games, top four prospects are on a knife-edge.
They will need their Scotsman, so often a catalyst for the team’s energy and vigour, to be at his best against Riyadh Mahrez and Kyle Walker.
For Scotland, though, Robertson leads a group who are very much on an upwards trajectory.
In Scott McTominay, John McGinn and Kieran Tierney, three other key performers over the international break, they possess a wealth of Premier League talent.
But even among the unused substitutes, Robertson was full of praise, “…people like Billy Gilmour…the wee man’s been training so well, Fergie (Lewis Ferguson), all these young lads who are coming in and pushing all of us”.
“All positions are getting more competitive, which is what we need in Scotland. We need people pushing each other.”
Back to back victories place Steve Clark’s team top of Qualifying Group A, which Robertson has described as a ‘sprint’ consisting of just five teams and eight games.
Next up on international duty for Scotland, Norway and Georgia in June.
Two wins in these fixtures would place them firmly in the driving seat to qualify for Euro 2024 and a the chance to compete at what would be just the nation’s fourth European Championships in its history.