Scotland v Georgia: Mark McGhee insists Scots can handle pressure

Scotland media conference
Scotland v Georgia- European Championship qualifying
Venue: Ibrox Stadium Date: Saturday, 11 October Kick-off: 17:00
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland & online. Live text coverage on BBC Sport website.

Mark McGhee is confident the players can handle the new-found expectation levels around the Scotland team.

As the Scots prepare for a Euro 2016 qualifying double-header against Georgia and Poland, there is a renewed belief among fans thanks to the leadership of manager Gordon Strachan.

"If you get some credit you have to be able to take the pressure of living up to it and we can do that," said McGhee.

"If you can't handle it as a player you shouldn't be in the squad."

Scotland started the Group D campaign with a 2-1 defeat against Germany, but were widely praised for the performance they produced in Dortmund.

And Strachan's side had been on a six-game unbeaten run going into the match against the World Champions, but McGhee believes the squad is strong enough to cope with big occasions.

"These players, most of them have played on huge stages and are used to that sort of pressure," said McGhee

"We've certainly managed in pressure situations - we can certainly endure it.

"We've got good players and have developed a good way of playing that suits those players, so we should be encouraged and optimistic that we can get results."

"For some time you've heard me talking about level of performance and consistency of performance, we've got to concentrate on that," McGhee added.

Scotland midfielder Barry Bannan

"It's about trying to maintain that consistency of performance we saw in the second half of the Germany game in particular. If we do that well enough, results will look after themselves."

McGhee, who revealed youngsters Ryan Gauld and Stevie May had "impressed" in training, also admitted Scotland's mindset has to change going into the Georgia match at Ibrox on Saturday, as Strachan's side will be favourites.

"It will cause us to consider the fact we are at home, we need to take the initiative in this game and therefore we have to set about our job in a certain way that might be different from the way we did against Germany," he added.

Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan has been out of the picture at club level recently but is hopeful of keeping his place in the side after a solid showing against the Germans.

And the 24-year-old believes the current crop of Scotland players are the best Scotland has produced in a number of years, despite the opening defeat by Germany.

"This is the strongest team we've had for a long time and we were on a good run apart from the Germany game," he said.

"A lot of players in this squad now are playing week in, week out in probably the best league in the world - the English Premiership.

"Every game coming up the whole squad is looking forward to it because we know we're a strong team now."

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