4 September 2014 12:00
Gordon Strachan insists Scotland are approaching their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany without any trepidation.
Scotland will come up against the reigning world champions in Dortmund on Sunday, as their qualification campaign gets off the toughest possible start.
Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 after extra-time in the World Cup final in Brazil two months ago, as a team featuring the likes of Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller powered their way to a fourth triumph on football’s grandest stage.
Despite their hosts’ star-studded squad, Strachan believes there is no reason for Scotland to go into Sunday’s clash with any fear.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge because I can see the players are,” he said.
“I’m encouraged by that, there’s no fear whatsoever in the camp. There’s a reality obviously that we’re playing the world champions but there’s no fear and I like that.
“They know they have to work hard to get a result and that’s been showing in training.
“We’re not scared of the occasion and where we’ve got to go. When you play the game you have a fear of getting beat and when you have the ball you should have no fear whatsoever and that’s the way we’re going into it.
“When we have the ball we won’t have any fear and when they have the ball we have a real fear of them scoring a goal and we’ll do everything possible to make sure they don’t score one.”
Joachim Low’s men were beaten 4-2 in a friendly on Wednesday as Argentina gained a small measure of revenge for that defeat at the Maracana.
But Strachan, who also revealed midfielder Graham Dorrans would not be fit to play after suffering a heel injury, believes that defeat will have no bearing on Sunday’s game.
“I thought Argentina were terrific and it was a wonderful game to watch but we didn’t take anything into it because it will be a completely different team and it’s a competitive game,” he said.
“I think when you say you have to compete, they are a different animal and they come alive when it becomes a real game.”