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England v Scotland: Marshall keen to repay Strachan with Wembley joy

Published 09/11/2016

Focused: David Marshall won’t let the emotions get to him
Focused: David Marshall won’t let the emotions get to him

Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall admits they will be gunning for a win against England as payback to manager Gordon Strachan.

A 1-1 draw at home to Lithuania followed by a 3-0 defeat in Slovakia last month left the Scots fourth in their World Cup qualifying group with four points from three games and desperate for a win at Wembley on Friday.

The Hull shot-stopper recognises the importance of the match to Scotland's qualification hopes and to their boss, who came in for criticism after the double-header and is under pressure ahead of the trip to London.

Marshall said: "I don't think that when we're playing the game we're thinking about the manager - we're thinking about getting a result - but it would be great to get that win for the gaffer regardless of pressures coming from elsewhere because he's been a great manager.

"He's helped a lot of players in this squad get to where they are so it would be good to get a positive result for him.

"He's been fantastic, he gave us a lift when he came in, when we were looking down. In terms of the result last month, it's put us in a position where we wouldn't want to be but there's still a long way to go.

"We need to get points on the board as quickly as possible but there's no reason to say we couldn't win games after this that would put us in a position to qualify but it needs to be sooner rather than later."

The former Celtic keeper admits that playing against England makes the game more than just a routine qualifier.

"It's another group game and there's points at stake but we know Scotland versus England doesn't come along often so it's a big occasion," said Marshall, who has been joined in the squad by his former Parkhead team-mate Charlie Mulgrew.

"But I think we'll be ready and focused and concentrated. We can't let the emotions get the better of us and I'm sure that will be the exact same on the other side as well."

Marshall has played at Wembley with Cardiff but was on the bench in August 2013 when Scotland lost 3-2 to England in a friendly.

He also played the first half of the 3-1 defeat to the Three Lions in a challenge match at Celtic Park in November 2014, before being replaced by Craig Gordon.

"It's a fantastic stadium," he said. "It's a great atmosphere, it's a great place to play in.

"As a kid, Scotland and England at Wembley is one of those ones you look at. It's a massive occasion but as I say the last couple of games (against England) have been friendlies, this time it's about putting points on the board."

Belfast Telegraph

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