Scotland assistant Mark McGhee says the team 'can't afford any more mistakes'

Scotland assistant coach Mark McGhee
Assistant coach Mark McGhee believes Scotland have improved since their last meeting with Lithuania
World Cup Qualifying Group F: Lithuania v Scotland
Venue: LFF Stadium, Vilnius Date: Friday, 1 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text coverage on BBC Sport website

Assistant coach Mark McGhee says Scotland approach their final four World Cup qualifying games knowing they need to win them all.

The national team travel to face Lithuania on Friday before hosting Malta on Monday, then meet Slovakia and Slovenia in October.

Scotland are fourth in Group F, four points behind second-placed Slovakia.

"We can't afford any more mistakes. There's no hiding from that," McGhee said.

Group F

"I'm not going to sit here and say, 'they might slip up, they might do this, they might do that'.

"You have to assume that we have to win all four games, and we roll our sleeves up to start to do that on Friday night.

"We slipped up against Lithuania [in October last year, drawing 1-1], so we've got to make sure we don't do that again.

"We will never say to the players that we can't afford a slip-up. The players know what's needed."

McGhee says the Scotland players are buoyed by their performances in the past two games, a victory over Slovenia and a 2-2 draw with group leaders England at Hampden.

The management team will look for the players to repeat elements of those performances - namely the high-tempo and high work-rate approach - in the final four games of the group, with a play-off spot still within reach.

"We're now really looking forward to games, there's no trepidation," McGhee said.

"There's anticipation that we've turned a corner with these two performances and results that allows us to be a wee bit optimistic about how we can approach these games.

"They set a standard against England that says there is no excuse not to bring that determination and energy to any performance, regardless of the shape or the set-up or the tactics.

"We're better than we were a year ago. Lithuania are at home, they've lost consecutive games, they will roll their sleeves up, they'll be playing for pride as much as anything, so we can't underestimate them.

"But I don't think anything's changed to say that they have got an awful lot better than they were a year ago, but we are. The advantage in that respect lies with us."

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