Saturday 10 December 2016

Shaun Maloney: Ireland are capable of getting a result against Germany

Published 08/09/2015 | 17:45

Emre Can of Germany is closed down by Shaun Maloney of Scotland during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier Group D match between Scotland and Germany at Hampden Park
Emre Can of Germany is closed down by Shaun Maloney of Scotland during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier Group D match between Scotland and Germany at Hampden Park

Scotland midfielder Shaun Maloney admits they are desperate not to come away empty-handed from their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

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But the Hull playmaker believes they can channel that hunger in a positive manner when they host Poland on October 8.

Defeats against Georgia and Germany have ended Scotland's hopes of automatic qualification from Group D and left their play-off ambitions out of their hands.

Scotland had earned praise for their previous efforts, coming off well in their games against main rivals Poland and Republic of Ireland, and have equalised three times against Germany during the campaign.

But defeat in Tbilisi, coupled with the Poles and Irish taking points off the world champions, means they are looking for favours ahead of the final two games.

"That's just the harsh reality of international football," Maloney said after the 3-2 home defeat by the Germans.

"We are desperate to get third place. There is a real hunger for it and I think you probably saw that in the performance. And we will do everything we possibly can to get the country there."

Scotland will clinch third if they win their final two games and Ireland fail to beat Germany, or beat Germany and then Poland, in Warsaw. Scotland can also draw and go through - if Martin O'Neill's side lose their final two matches.

Maloney said: "We have to respect Ireland are capable of getting a result in their home stadium. All we can do is try and get a result against Poland and obviously beat Gibraltar and see where it takes us."

Scotland were lacking a spark in Tbilisi and failed to muster a shot on target but they pushed Germany until the end with Maloney's set-piece deliveries setting up a Mats Hummels own goal and a James McArthur volley.

The 32-year-old said: "I'm proud to be part of a team that can come back and give a team of that standard as hard a game as we did. It's obviously tinged with disappointment with the result but we can be very proud of how we performed.

"After the Georgia game, we wanted a huge improvement in performance and I think we did that.

"We've had a great run over the last couple of years and improvement and when we have the performance and result against Georgia we have to be honest and take the criticism.

"When you play the world champions you have to be as brave as possible in and out of possession and have no regrets. I don't think anyone can have any regrets or could have tried any harder, we left everything out there."

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