Scotland's Steven Fletcher focused on reaching Euro finals

Steven Fletcher is tackled by Germany's Mats Hummels
Steven Fletcher is tackled by Germany's Mats Hummels

Frustrated Scotland striker Steven Fletcher says he is doing his utmost to score for the international team.

Fletcher scored a hat-trick against Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifying but has not found the net in Scotland's last three games against the Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Germany.

"I'm doing what I can. I'm running around," he said after the 3-2 defeat by Germany at Hampden on Monday.

"If they're not happy with that, it's down to them."

Some pundits had called for the lone striker's role to go to Leigh Griffiths, with his confidence buoyed by his scoring exploits for Celtic.

But Fletcher added: "Obviously I'd love to score goals but If I'm not getting a chance, I'm not going to put it away.

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D

"He (Gordon Strachan) is the boss, he picks the team. I'm happy he's picking me."

The 28-year-old striker, who has struggled to pin down a starting place under Dick Advocaat at Sunderland this season, is determined to help the national side gain maximum points next month from the two remaining matches, at home to Poland and away to Gibraltar.

"We know what we have to do. There are six points to play for so we'll try to get them," he said.

"We've got a good squad, a young squad as well. We want to achieve things, so if we can get to the play-offs, then happy days."

Scotland need at least four points to leapfrog the Republic of Ireland into third place in Group D and secure home-and-away play-off ties against another third-place team for a place in France next summer.

However, their destiny is not in their own hands. Even victory over Poland and Gibraltar will not be enough for Scotland if Ireland win against either Germany or Poland.

'We are still in this' - Gordon Strachan

Pride tinged with disappointment

For Fletcher's team-mate Shaun Maloney, there was satisfaction at coming close against the world champions.

"I am very proud of being part of that team that can come back twice and give a team of that standard as hard a game as we did," he said.

"It's obviously tinged with disappointment with the result but we can be very proud of how we performed tonight.

"When you play the world champions you have to be as brave as possible and have no regrets and I don't think any of our players can have any regrets or wish that we tried any harder. We left everything out there.

Shaun Maloney is congratulated on helping Scotland draw level against Germany
Shaun Maloney is congratulated on helping Scotland draw level against Germany

"It's impossible to guess what is going to happen. If we win both our games that is all we can do.

"I think the performance tonight must give us a huge amount of confidence."

Marshall's "strange" Hampden evening

Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall also thought the performance would provide a boost ahead of the Poles' visit on 8 October.

He said: "We know if we perform like that we will beat most teams, especially at home, with the crowd.

"We need to go and win the game. It is in Ireland's hands. On paper they have got the harder games.

"Tonight we showed the quality we've got. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep it tight enough at the back and they had that bit of class to beat us.

Scotland keeper David Marshall cannot stop Germany's Ilkay Gundogan from scoring
Scotland keeper David Marshall cannot stop Germany's Ilkay Gundogan from scoring

"It was a strange game. Being a 3-2, you'd expect chances galore. But I don't think either (Manuel) Neuer or myself had a save of note. They have been clinical and taken their chances."

After the world champions, now for the big one

Midfielder James Morrison said the Scots "gave it everything against a very good side".

"With a bit of luck we could have nicked a point but we can't argue," he concluded.

"We got chances against them and scored two goals. I'm disappointed they scored three goals from three shots on target.

"(The Poland game is) the big one. We all know that. I think it's been building for a couple of matches now.

"We'll take the grit and determination from tonight's game and go into it."

Top Stories