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We want to be hosting our own party next time, says McFadden

Scotland take on World Cup-bound Mexico in a friendly on Saturday night.

Alex McLeish and James McFadden will hope Scotland can bounce back from their defeat to Peru when they face Mexico (Steve Welsh/PA)
Alex McLeish and James McFadden will hope Scotland can bounce back from their defeat to Peru when they face Mexico (Steve Welsh/PA)

James McFadden is determined that Scotland will never again be reduced to the warm-up act for countries preparing for major tournaments.

The Scots will face World Cup-bound Mexico at the Azteca Stadium on Saturday night after losing 2-0 to Peru, another country off to Russia, on Tuesday.

Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since the World Cup in France in 1998 and McFadden, with the celebrations of the locals in Lima fresh in his mind, is keen to end that record – and soon.

“You can see what is possible and you want to be part of it,” the Scotland coach told Press Association Sport.

“You don’t want to be, in two years’ time, going to someone else’s party.

“You want to have your own party, especially with some of the (Euro 2020) games being at Hampden, that gives you the extra motivation.

“Whatever motivates you do well, you take that and go forward.”

James McFadden and Scotland have turned their attentions towards the friendly with Mexico (Handout/PA)

The former Motherwell, Everton and Scotland attacker wishes he could pull on the boots again to play at the Azteca.

However, his focus is on the inaugural Nations League which begins later this year and in which the Scots have been put in the same group as Albania and Israel.

The 35-year-old said: “Tuesday night was a great experience and I am sure it will be again in the Azteca. It is world famous.

“I wish I was playing to be honest, but it’s great for us to sample these cultures and environments.

“There has been a lot of negativity about the trip, but I think we will gain out of it, I really do.

“The Nations League, that’s what matters. We are trying to build a team. Obviously it is a new coaching staff, new manager and we are using new players.

“We are trying to find players who we feel are good enough to make sure we are equipped to go into the Nations League.”

McFadden is a vociferous champion of young Scottish talent and was encouraged to see Scotland Under-21s beat their French counterparts 1-0 at the Toulon Tournament, with Oliver Burke scoring the only goal of the game.

The somewhat shock result boosted Scot Gemmil’s side’s chance of reaching the semi-finals.

The young Scots started with a 1-1 draw against Togo, with their final group game coming against South Korea on Saturday.

“It shows we have players who are competitive at that level and it is great to see,” said McFadden.

“It is always good to see Scotland winning and the squad were all watching the game on television as well. It can only be a positive.

“I know we have got good players. I know people are quick to talk our football down and our leagues down but I know we have got good players. I have been watching it. I think we have a bright future.

“It is about getting the young players games in first teams, getting them into the national team and trying to build for the long term instead of just for now.”

Press Association


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