What Andy Robertson's Champions League experience against Real Madrid has taught him for Scotland's clash with Serbia

Andy Robertson knows Scotland are carrying the hopes of a nation on their shoulders in Belgrade - but the skipper confessed he cannot yet contemplate his own dreams of leading the team out at Euro 2020.

Captain Andy Robertson during Scotland training at Oriam on November 11, 2020 (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Captain Andy Robertson during Scotland training at Oriam on November 11, 2020 (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Tartan Army are praying their 22-year stint in international football's summer wilderness will come to an end at the Rajko Mitic Stadium as they come up against Serbia in Thursday's winner-takes-all play-off final.

The Liverpool left-back is among a generation of Scotland supporters who cannot remember seeing their team play at a major tournament. Meanwhile Serbia have been to two World Cups in the past decade but Robertson does not buy into the theory tomorrow night’s clash means more to Scotland.

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"When there's a chance to go to a finals, you know they are going to be as desperate as us," said the Champions League winner. "It doesn't matter if you've been to 10 finals or none.

Andy Robertson in action for Scotland during a Euro 2020 Play off match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

"The first Champions League final I played in you could see it meant just as much to Real Madrid as it did to us and they had won it the two years previously.

"Both teams are representing their country and want to make their nation proud, so carrying that on your shoulders in itself makes it an even fight."

The pressure of an entire country willing you could be seen as suffocating by those lacking strength of character.

Robertson was only four when Colin Hendry strode out alongside Brazil captain Dunga for the opening game of the 1998 World Cup in France, but he has the chance to match that feat next summer at Hampden - which will host three matches - if his side can maintain an eight-game unbeaten streak and topple the Serbs.

But he admits he will not be letting let his imagination run wild until qualification has been secured.

"To be honest I won't let myself think about that until it's done," he said. “I'm not letting myself think about walking out at Hampden next summer. That's firmly in the back of my mind and I'll focus on that hopefully on Friday morning when it's a reality.

"I was four the last time Scotland got to the World Cup. My whole generation has missed out on seeing Scotland reach a major tournament.

"I look back at old videos and have talked to my family about how good it was to see the Tartan Army at tournaments.

"I remember my manager at Liverpool [Juergen Klopp] talking about how fun they were in Germany when he was a little boy during the World Cup [in 1974].

"We know how big a fanbase we have and how passionate they are. We want to see them at a major tournament and we're the next group of lads who can go achieve that.

"We need to carry that with us as it definitely gives you that added incentive tomorrow night to make the five million people back home happy."

Kick-off for the make-or-break play-off final in Belgrade is 7.45pm.

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