Scotland unfazed by red-hot Lewandowski

Scotland assistant coach Mark McGhee is more encouraged by the fact that his strikers are scoring than fearful of Robert Lewandowski’s stunning form.

Poland striker Lewandowski continued his exceptional goalscoring spree on Sunday with a double in Bayern Munich’s 5-1 win over his former club Borussia Dortmund. That made it 12 goals in four games for the 27-year-old, whose team face Scotland at Hampden Park on Thursday.

Lewandowski is also the top goalscorer in the European Championship qualifiers with 10 goals.

But the Scotland squad met up with strikers feeling good about themselves too after all four in Gordon Strachan’s pool netted at the weekend.

Sunderland forward Steven Fletcher scored his second of the season against West Ham; Jordan Rhodes hit a double against former club Ipswich to make it seven from five games for Blackburn; Chris Martin struck for Derby; and Leigh Griffiths headed his 10th goal of the season for Celtic.

Quizzed on whether Scotland had special plans to deal with Lewandowski, McGhee said: “We feel we have to match them in every area and obviously he’s their guy they hope will get goals for him so we have to pay him attention.

“I have total respect for him, he’s a fantastic player, but we have players in form as well. We have players who scored at the weekend as well.

“When I watched the games coming in on Saturday and I see Martin and Fletcher scoring goals, and Griffiths yesterday, then that’s encouraging because that’s going to bring them here full of confidence.

“If you score once, you tend to think you will score again. That’s the important thing for us, that we have players who are in scoring form.”

Fletcher has started seven of the eight qualifiers so far — Steven Naismith was the lone striker in Germany — but has only netted against Gibraltar. McGhee said: “Steven Fletcher brings a lot to the team other than goals and I think the fact that he played for Sunderland at the weekend, not having scored many goals this season, reflects that. And it’s the same for us.

“We hope Steven can get goals if he plays but there are other aspects of his play that are valuable to the team.”

Griffiths has taken his domestic form into Europe, hitting a double against Malmo and netting against Fenerbahce. He

admitted he was desperate to score at Hamilton on Sunday after seeing his international team-mates find the net on Saturday.

Scotland need at least a draw on Thursday but their fate is out of their hands.


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