The only defender of Liverpool’s usual starting back four still standing, Andy Robertson’s a man on a mission this international break. The Scots play Serbia tonight in a play-off game, and should they win in Belgrade, it will be the Tartan Army’s first appearance in an international tournament in 23 years.
Speaking to Craig Hope of the Daily Mail, Robbo issued a rallying cry to his countrymen:
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 talking about how fun they were in Germany when he was a little boy during the World Cup.
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 and achieve that.
We need to carry that with us as it definitely gives you that added incentive to make five million people back home happy.
Of course, Robbo’s successes at club level with the club has made him the star attraction of the squad, and many fans are counting on him to deliver tonight, but he insists that it’s not all about him:
A lot of the lads have played in play-off finals. I know how much pressure there is in those games. John McGinn scored for Villa in one.
I’ve seen Callum McGregor, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Jack play in Europe at the highest level. I’ve seen Scott McTominay’s performances against PSG. Kenny McLean got promoted with Norwich, so there is a whole list of lads who have produced on the big occasion.
It’s easy to look at me because I’ve won trophies. But forget about me — I look at the other lads and know that when the big occasion comes they won’t shy away.
We will go out there and, whether it’s 90 minutes or 120, we need to come away with no regrets. We need to walk off thinking, “OK, we did our all there”.
Make no mistake, Liverpool FC are knee deep in a injury crisis. But it’s sorta comforting to be reminded of the ridiculous amount of leadership and character that this squad possesses. If there’s any Liverpool squad that can rise above this, it’s this one. Good luck, Andy.