Scotland host Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden either side of a Wembley clash with England in the tournament.
Making 50 days to the Euro 2020 set to be held in June-July, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that he had broken down in tears of happiness after his country, Scotland, qualified for the prestigious competition. Ferguson said that he had tears in his eyes when he saw Scotland player Ryan Christie’s interview after the team won in a penalty shootout against Serbia in a playoff game. The former manager did confess that he had his reservations when Serbia equalized and the match went on to extra time but applauded his nation’s fighting spirit as they went on to win the match.
“When Serbia scored in the last minute I thought ‘oh Christ Almighty, extra-time, no chance’. But they saw it through and dug their heels in,” Ferguson said. He also praised goalkeeper Davie Marshall for his save in the shootout. “But Davie Marshall’s save, and he didn’t even know whether they had qualified or not, and everyone is jumping on top of him,” the Scot said. The ex-Aberdeen boss said that the post-game interview where Ryan Christie was teary-eyed resonated with the whole country.
“And then the Ryan Christie interview. Christ, I was crying when I saw him crying. It was fantastic. You talk about a boost to the country – it was fantastic. I’m sure half the country would have watched that night. We will always remember Davie Marshall’s reaction and Ryan Christie’s interview. These are special moments which encapsulate exactly what it meant to everyone. Ryan Christie was crying for Scotland, for every Scottish fan,” he said.
Ferguson, who is hailed as the Premier League’s greatest manager of all time, also heaps on the praise for Scotland manager Steve Clarke. “The thing that impresses me about Steve is that he is unflappable,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether the team is doing well or doing badly, his demeanor does not change. He is composed, he is calm, and I think that transmits to the team. There is no panic.”
The former Manchester United manager also spoke highly of certain players in the Scotland side that play in the Premier League, including Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson who play for two of United’s rivals, Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. He did also praise United’s Scott McTominay and recalled the time when he signed the midfielder when he was seven or eight. “I signed him when he was seven or eight. He was actually a center-forward as a kid. He has sprouted, a little bit like Darren (Fletcher) when he first came,” Ferguson said.