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McGhee banking on Celtic feelgood factor

 

By Phil Blanche

Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee hopes a Hampden feelgood factor among his Celtic contingent will prove an inspiration when England visit the national stadium on Saturday.

Six members of Gordon Strachan's squad collected Scottish Cup winners' medals two weeks before the World Cup qualifier after completing a 47-match domestic season unbeaten.

All of them - Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths - started in Scotland's 1-0 victory over Slovenia in March.

McGhee knows how a cup final buzz can carry over into an Auld Enemy clash - he netted in a 1-1 draw with England in the final Home International meeting in 1984, seven days after scoring a Hampden winner for Aberdeen against Celtic.

So he feels the confidence of the Celtic players can lift the Scots. McGhee said: "I think that's important. That's why we played the six lads: they brought a confidence and an understanding between each other which added something to the team.

"I scored the goal in the cup final and a week later I scored against England so hopefully that's an omen. I definitely went into that match confident and I'm sure they will too.

"Last time out we saw their energy and their confidence obviously, but there was another advantage too, in that you feel as if the players are connected. That's an attribute that is hard to bring that to a team when you have a week to work with them."

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