Scotland not distracted by qualification 'noise'

5 months ago 70
Scotland's John McGinn and Andrew RobertsonJohn McGinn and Andrew Robertson looked in high spirits during training
Date: Friday, 8 September Venue: AEK Arena, Larnaca Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland Extra/DAB/810MW, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app, watch highlights on BBC One Scoltand & BBC iPlayer

John Carver says "the most focused group of people I've worked with" will not be distracted by suggestions Scotland have all but qualified for Euro 2024 when they face Cyprus.

Scotland's assistant manager knows all about the country, having coached Omonia Nicosia in 2016-17, and thinks handling the heat will be a key factor in Larnaca on Friday.

"It will be hot, the pitch will probably be dry, but we're in great conditions here at the moment and we're acclimatising to it," Carver said.

Scotland sit top of Group A after four consecutive victories and another win, combined with other results going their way, could seal qualification by the time England arrive for Tuesday's friendly at Hampden Park.

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However, Carver insists "we've not even discussed" the match that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of world football's oldest international fixture.

"We need to make sure we take care of this game," he said. "What you find with the players is that they're very level headed, so they don't listen to the outside noise.

"In all my years working with football teams, this is the most focused group of people I've worked with, which is a really good thing and an honour for these guys because I've worked with some good teams and some good players, but these guys are right on it."

Carver stresses Cyprus will be difficult opponents despite sitting bottom of the table without a point.

"It might not have been the best result in the end, but the performance against Armenia, which is a difficult place, winning in Israel, which is extremely tough, we found it tough out there, and losing in the last minute against Georgia," he said.

"I know Cypriot football pretty well and the standard's got much better in recent times, so we know it's going to be a difficult game."

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