Shaun Maloney sees reasons for optimism after Scotland’s unsuccessful Euro 2016 qualification campaign and hopes they can shine in Tuesday’s friendly against Denmark.
Scotland had to settle for fourth spot in their section behind Germany, Poland and the Republic of Ireland as they missed out on a ticket for the upcoming tournament in France.
They started 2016 with a 1-0 away win over Czech Republic last week, and Maloney wants to see more of the same against Denmark.
“I felt for large parts of the campaign we were going in the right direction,” Maloney told The Scottish Sun.
“We finished fourth but we need to continually search for the form and bravery we showed in Poland and against Ireland at home when we were really brave in possession and continually tried to go forward.
“We maybe lost that in certain parts of the second half of the campaign, but if we can continue to do that through a whole group that can only benefit the country.
“The positive thing you could take from our qualifying matches against Poland and Ireland was we were like the rugby team, we went toe to toe as we have to do.
“I don’t think it makes any sense for us to try and be defensive and keep giving up the ball. I think in the long term that’s not going to improve us as a nation.”
Maloney and Steven Whittaker joined the squad for Tuesday’s match at Hampden Park, while Paul Caddis and Scott Bain will stay in Gordon Strachan’s squad. Steven Fletcher has recovered from illness, and he too takes his place in Strachan’s party.
Denmark also missed out on qualification for Euro 2016 as Sweden proved to be too strong in the play-offs.
Like Scotland, they beat a Euro 2016 participant on Thursday, though, defeating Iceland 2-1 courtesy of a Nicolai Jorgensen double.