Mark McGhee: Scotland assistant wants 'must-win' approach for England clash

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Scotland: 'England is a must-win game' says Mark McGhee

Mark McGhee says Scotland will go into the 2018 World Cup qualifier against England with the same attitude as they did in the March win over Slovenia.

Manager Gordon Strachan had billed that game a "must-win" encounter.

The 1-0 triumph took Scotland to within two points of second place in Group F.

And, asked if next month's clash with Gareth Southgate's England fell into the same bracket, assistant boss McGhee said: "I think we have to think about it like that."

The former Motherwell manager added: "I think we have to prepare and make sure the players are preparing for that game in that frame of mind because that's how we approached the last game and we won.

"There was a determination about us and we have to get that again, particularly against England, but it is at home and that is an advantage at Hampden with the Tartan Army behind us.

"It gives us a chance. I think we have to be on edge, to be as prepared as well as we possibly can and really have every base covered."

England lead the group on 13 points from five games, Slovakia have nine, Slovenia eight and Scotland seven.

Chris Martin celebrates scoring for Scotland against Slovenia
Chris Martin scored the only goal as Scotland beat Slovenia in March

McGhee says planning for the England game intensified two weeks ago when he and Strachan met to discuss the possible make-up of the squad and the training programme.

"We watched the England game again, we watched Lithuania play England," he told BBC Scotland.

"I've been watching games. I went to watch Bournemouth to see young Ryan Fraser play against Tottenham. I'm going to any games where there's anyone I can possibly see.

"It's still difficult because a lot of the players are coming off the bench as Ryan did, but I'm still seeing enough to know that we have the nucleus of the squad that we can, if we're clever enough and determined enough, put together a way of playing that we can definitely get something from that game."

Darren Fletcher and Wayne Rooney
Scotland were beaten 3-0 when they met England at Wembley in November

McGhee believes Scotland can take heart not only from beating Slovenia but from their 3-0 defeat at Wembley in November.

"After the second goal went in - watching the video last Monday - we switched it off, both of us still disgusted because the actual performance was decent," he said.

"We put them under pressure, we forced them into errors, we were able to get close to them.

"But there was still that area, I feel, where when we crossed the halfway line in transition from defending and attacking we were a little bit anxious to get there and I think we maybe have to look to have a bit more play in that area of the field.

"We'll try to make sure we don't give them the ball back too quickly.

"There are things we can improve on, but there was an awful lot of good in that game as well."

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