Shaun Maloney: Scotland desperate to pip Ireland to third

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

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

Scotland will clinch third if they win their final two games and Ireland fail to 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.”


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