DAILY MAIL 🔵 Scots can’t be distracted by opening ceremony in Munich – Shango Media
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DAILY MAIL 🔵 Scots can’t be distracted by opening ceremony in Munich

  • Spectacular occasion will be watched by millions worldwide but Scots are urged to ignore the ‘circus’ and keep their focus on match with Germany
  • Clarke claims that training ground bust-up between Rudiger and Fullkrug shows that Germans are ‘really up for the tournament’ 
  • Finally some good news on injury front as Andy Robertson and Lawrence Shankland shake off niggles to take part in training 

Steve Clarke has warned his Scotland players to ignore the ‘circus’ surrounding the opening game of Euro 2024 against Germany in Munich and concentrate solely on their performance on the pitch.

The Scots will take centre stage in the Allianz Arena after a huge opening ceremony watched by millions of fans in Europe and around the world.

When the formal proceedings come to an end, Clarke wants his team to shut out the noise and play the game as the Scots kick off their bid to reach the knockout stages of a major finals for the first time.

He has also urged them to dismiss any talk of a host nation in turmoil after reports of a training ground bust-up between team-mates Antonio Rudiger and Niclas Fullkrug.

‘Individually, they have to understand that we’re not there for the occasion,’ said the Scotland boss last night. ‘We’re there for the game and the vast majority will understand that.

‘The pre-match routine will be different because there’s a show going on the pitch. It’s going to be completely different and we’ll have a chat about that.

The Allianz Arena in Munich will be a blaze of colour and noise for opening ceremony

Clarke has told his players to ignore 'the circus' and concentrate on game

German fans are expected to create a raucous atmosphere for opening game

‘We’ll tell the players to expect something different, to adapt and be ready. Forget the circus that’s going on round about us and enjoy the game.’

Addressing the story in newspaper Bild which claimed Germany’s assistant coach Sandro Wagner had to separate Rudiger and Fullkrug after they ‘almost came to blows’, Clarke believes it shows that Julian Nagelsmann’s side are going to be really up for a tournament he feels will bring out the best in the three-time European champions.

‘Everyone was telling me when the draw was made that Germany wasn’t in a good place. I wasn’t fooled. I wasn’t getting carried away with that talk,’ he said.

‘You know when it comes to a major tournament that Germany are always ready.

‘It’s a home tournament. You know they’re going to be really up for this one.

‘There was a bit in the media about a little bust-up on their training pitch. That just tells me that they’re ready and up for it.

‘We expect a very, very good Germany side, but hopefully they’re facing a very, very good Scotland side. Julian Nagelsmann’s taken a little bit of time to put his stamp on the team but that’s what happens.

‘In recent friendly matches they’ve looked like their old selves. I’m looking for a good performance. Play as well as you can and we’ll see what happens.’

Billy Gilmour shares a laugh on his birthday on Tuesday with McCrorie, Hendry and McLean

Midfielder Gilmour is surrounded by well-wishers from the squad in a light-hearted moment

Ryan Christie puts his best foot forward ahead of the opening game with Germany on Friday

Captain Andrew Robertson and striker Lawrence Shankland shrugged off injury scares to train on Tuesday and, with the Tartan Army beginning to converge on the Bavarian capital Clarke wants to give Scotland fans something to celebrate.

‘I’m aware of the fact it’s the first time in a long time that Scotland’s been involved in a major international tournament, when everyone can travel and it feels like a bit of a holiday,’ he told Scotland National team channels.

‘We’re here to send everyone home with a smile on their face in three, hopefully four, weeks’ time. To do that, we need to focus.

‘There will be plenty back in Scotland who hopefully enjoy watching us on the telly. For the ones who have come over, hopefully the team gives you something to shout about – in a good way. Not in a bad way!

‘Hopefully we give them a chance to enjoy the games and be part of a Scotland side that makes history. I’m looking forward to it, of course. Why wouldn’t you?’

Apart from the razzmatazz of the opening ceremony on Friday night, there will be a poignant moment when German legend Franz Beckenbauer’s widow Heidi carries the Henri Delaunay Cup on to the pitch with Germany’s two surviving European Championship-winning captains, Bernard Dietz and Jurgen Klinsmann.

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