Scotland: Mark McGhee bullish on World Cup qualifier against Croatia

Croatia players celebrate scoring against Wales in a World Cup qualifier

Scotland assistant boss Mark McGhee has urged "no fear" ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against in-form Croatia.

The Scots, bottom of Group A without a win, face the joint group leaders in Zagreb on 7 June.

"There's a bit of a panic on here that we're going to Croatia to get mullered," said McGhee.

"I don't think we feel that. We're looking forward to going there and have no fear of going there."

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has begun checking the fitness of his squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier in Croatia.

Forwards Leigh Griffiths and James Forrest, and midfielder Liam Bridcutt will be assessed on Saturday to see whether they are fit to travel.

Defender Gary Caldwell has already been ruled out having told BBC Scotland he will undergo hip surgery.

There is also doubt over Celtic captain Scott Brown's involvement as he continues to ease himself back from a hip operation, despite returning for his club side to feature in Sunday's Scottish Cup win at Hampden.

"We're looking at our young players to bring their energy, enthusiasm and bring their ability to surprise Croatia with the unknown quantity they bring," added McGhee.

"There are also important players coming to the end of their careers, which is why we have to look to who is going to replace the Kenny Millers and the Caldwells as these guys start to fade away."

Strachan's side face two meetings with Croatia, one at home to Belgium and a trip to Macedonia.

And the manager has said there is no "quick fix" to the national side's current problems.

Trailing Croatia and Belgium by 14 points, Scotland cannot progress but points are vital if the team is to avoid dropping further in the rankings for future tournaments.

"We've got enough games left and by the end of the summer we will have a stronger squad to choose from and we will still have the opportunity to get those points," said mcGhee.

"So, yes, I would expect us to do it."

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