We’ll do it for Kieran: Scotland midfielder McLean vows to secure qualification for injury-hit team-mate

KENNY McLEAN insists Scotland plan to secure a place in the last 16 of Euro 2024 for devastated team-mate Kieran Tierney.

The Arsenal defender became the latest addition to Steve Clarke’s lengthy list of casualties when he was stretchered off during last night’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland with what appeared to be a serious hamstring injury.

Lewis Ferguson, Aaron Hickey, Nathan Patterson, Lyndon Dykes, Ben Doak and Jacob Brown were ruled out of Steve Clarke’s squad before the flight to Germany.

A key player, the loss of Tierney was the only significant negative on a night when the Scots displayed all the tenacious qualities missing in a woeful 5-1 defeat to Germany in the opening game of the tournament.

‘It’s devastating for KT,’ said Norwich midfielder McLean. ‘We know how big a player for us and on a night like Sunday, when hopefully we’ll be a lot more front foot, that’s when he’d have come alive.

‘I thought he was outstanding defensively before he got the injury. Hopefully it’s not too bad for him, but if it rules him out we’ve got the likes of Scott McKenna and Liam Cooper to come in.

Tierney’s leg over-extends on the Cologne turf as he tries to stop Ndoye getting a show away

The Arsenal defender, currently on loan at Real Sociedad, indicates that his race is run

The Arsenal defender, currently on loan at Real Sociedad, indicates that his race is run

Tierney is emotional on the turf as he realises that his tournament is most likely over

Tierney is emotional on the turf as he realises that his tournament is most likely over

‘This gives us even more of a cause to do it on Sunday. Obviously, Dyksey has been in camp with us as well. They are people who have played a massive part in getting us here so they’re going to be supporting the lads.

‘Hopefully KT’s injury isn’t that bad but it’s not ideal with him coming off. He’s a big player for us and fingers crossed he’ll be OK.

‘The luck we’ve had with injuries has been ridiculous. It’s freakish, to be honest. Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson are another two. It’s so unforgiving.

‘There’s nothing we can do except come together and do as much as we can for the lads that are missing out.

‘KT was on gas and air in the dressing-room so it wasn’t easy to talk to him.

‘Listen, we hope he’s OK because he’s been a massive player for Scotland. If it’s the end of his tournament, it would be great to get through for him.

Scotland skipper Andy Robertson consoles his team-mate as he is stretchered from the field

Scotland skipper Andy Robertson consoles his team-mate as he is stretchered from the field

Mercifully, Tierney was later seen walking up the tunnel, but his tournament is all but over

Mercifully, Tierney was later seen walking up the tunnel, but his tournament is all but over

‘He’ll be desperate for the lads to go out there and do it. We’re a proper, tight-knit squad. Being away with the lads has been incredible and KT is a huge character on and off the pitch.

‘I’m sure he’ll still be there for us if he doesn’t make it.’

A team playing with fear in Munich, the difference in Scotland’s approach was evident from the early seconds of a draw which tees up a cup final against Hungary in Stuttgart on Sunday.

Marco Rossi’s side have lost to Germany and the Swiss but can still secure one of the best third-place qualifier slots by beating the Scots. Victory for Clarke’s team, meanwhile, would seal a slice of history by claiming a place in the last 16 of a major tournament for the first time ever.

Claiming the best is yet to come, substitute McLean added: ‘It was a lot better, but we can get a lot better and we WILL get better on Sunday.

‘On Friday, we gave Germany too much space, too much respect and we let their best players run the game.

‘So we’ve worked hard on the training pitch on shape and on tactics and we brought a lot of that into this game. We’ll go back and work even harder and bring some more to Stuttgart on Sunday.

Kenny McLean made a late appearance from the bench, offering fresh legs in place of Gilmour

Kenny McLean made a late appearance from the bench, offering fresh legs in place of Gilmour

‘Sunday’s even bigger than this was, because we need the three points. We have to win.

‘If there’s a hard way to do it, we’ll do it, we’re Scotland. But we’ll do it — that’s the main thing.

‘The deflation the other night was unreal. There was so much build up and expectations were high. Even though it was against Germany, we expected a lot from ourselves and so did everyone else because of what we’ve done previously.

‘We let a lot of people down, but we took that on the chin and came out tonight fighting and firing. And that at least gives us an opportunity on Sunday.’

The difference in attitude and approach was evident in the early Scott McTominay goal which shocked the fancied Swiss, the the kind of strike the Manchester United man scored routinely during qualifying.

Robertson and Shaqiri embrace at full-time as both sets of players reflect on a draw

Robertson and Shaqiri embrace at full-time as both sets of players reflect on a draw

Xherdan Shaqiri capitalised on an Anthony Ralston error to secure Switzerland’s sixth straight qualification for the knock out stages of a major tournament in style.

Relieved to have witnessed the deflected which kept Scotland alive and kicking, however, McLean said: ‘The goal we created showed intensity and real belief as the lads were running forward. I could see it from the bench, I was out of my seat.

‘We got a bit fortunate with the finish, but the great thing was that we committed bodies forward and big Scotty got on the end of it the way he did the whole qualifying campaign.’

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