Scotland defender Andrew Robertson says their Euro 2016 qualifier with Georgia has the air of a must-win fixture as the race for a place at the tournament heats up.
Gordon Strachan’s men head to Tbilisi on Friday sat third in Group D with 11 points, a position that would see them advance to a two-legged play-off in order to secure a spot in France.
The highest-ranked third-placed team will qualify directly, but that position is currently occupied by Albania.
But, given the tight nature of their group, Scotland have plenty of reason for hope. Strachan’s side trail second-placed Germany by two points and leaders Poland by three, while Republic of Ireland are still in contention on nine points.
Scotland play world champions Germany next Monday at Hampden Park, and Robertson knows there is little room for slip-ups in their bid to reach a first major tournament since 1998.
“It’s a tough one to say because the gaffer’s said all along we’ve never known what game was the must-win game,” said Robertson.
“But, one of them definitely will be and we’ll only know that by the end of the group. Every game from now on is important.
“It does have the must win feel about it, but just because we’re getting to the end of the group every game’s got that feeling about it. I think it will be like that for the next four games that we’ve got.”
An own goal gave Scotland all three points in a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture last October and they should be confident of another maximum haul against a team whose sole points of the campaign came in a 3-0 win over Gibraltar.
Georgia’s only success since that victory was a 2-0 defeat of Malta back in March.
However, Scotland fans will have bad memories of Tbilisi having previously witnessed a pivotal 2-0 loss to Georgia in the city during their unsuccessful Euro 2008 campaign.
And assistant coach Stuart McCall is not writing off Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s men.
“Everyone will look at the 4-0 [defeat] with Poland, but it wasn’t until the 89th minute Poland got their second,” McCall said. “They [Georgia] could quite easily have got a draw in the last 10 minutes.
“They’re improving and even though we played well against them at Ibrox we only managed to win 1-0 with an own goal.”
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