Euro 2020: Ryan Christie says Scotland are aiming to prove they belong at major international tournaments again

Scotland drew 2-2 against fellow Euro 2020 participants Netherlands on Wednesday ahead of men side's first appearance in a major international tournament since 1998 World Cup; watch Scotland face Luxembourg in their final warm-up on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football from 5pm

Ryan Christie (centre) started in Scotland's 2-2 draw against the Netherlands on Wednesday
Image: Ryan Christie (centre) started in Scotland's 2-2 draw against the Netherlands on Wednesday

Ryan Christie says Scotland are determined to underline the progress made as a squad under Steve Clarke at the Euros and prove they can become an international force.

Scotland play Luxembourg on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, in their final warm-up game before Euro 2020 - the first time the men's side has taken part in a major international tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

Christie, 26, played in the 2-2 friendly draw against the Netherlands on Wednesday and admits the performance has further boosted confidence within the camp.

"We don't want to be seen as just a team making up the numbers," the Celtic midfielder told Sky Sports News.

"We are here for a reason and that is because we belong here, we think.

"Hopefully we have a good tournament and moving on from that we want to make it a regular thing that Scotland qualify for tournaments here on out.

"We are just desperate to show everyone how good a team we are."

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Scotland's Jack Hendry, 2nd left, celebrates with team mates after scoring his side's opening goal during the international friendly soccer match between the Netherlands and Scotland at the Algarve stadium outside Faro, Portugal, Wednesday June 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti) 1:13
Scotland defender Jack Hendry says the 2-2 draw against the Netherlands proves the strength in depth in their squad ahead of the Euros

Scotland begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Czech Republic at Hampden on June 14 before facing England and Croatia.

Six members of Clarke's squad did not travel to Portugal for the match against the Netherlands in midweek as a precaution after John Fleck tested positive for Covid-19.

"I think a lot of people have commented on how far we have come when you look back a few years and if you had said to us then that we'd be disappointed to be losing a last-minute equaliser to the Netherlands then you probably wouldn't have believed them back then," Christie added.

"It shows us how far we have come as a squad, especially with seven boys that missed the game as well. It's been superb.

"I think everyone is the same as me, desperate to go and do as well as we possibly can for the whole nation."

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The absence of seven players in Scotland's squad for their friendly draw against the Netherlands following one positive coronavirus case will not have disrupted their Euro 2020 preparations, says Gary Caldwell

With Fleck still in quarantine, Christie says competition in training among the other players at their pre-tournament camp in Spain has been "through the roof".

"You can tell straight away the excitement in the camp when you see the standard in training," he added.

"Everybody is raring to go and desperate to play a part in the massive Euros games coming up."

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Meanwhile, Celtic teammate Callum McGregor is pleased to see the squad pulling together in the face of adversity.

"Obviously when you lose five or six players, it has an effect on the numbers in the group," he said. "But everyone who went out on the pitch the other night was trying to get a result for the guys left behind.

"Do we worry about missing games at the Euros because of Covid? Yes, that's at the back of our minds as well but we stick to the protocols as best we can and it's served us well so far, so we just stay vigilant and keep our distance where possible and try to eliminate as much of the risk.

"Hopefully, when we get to the tournament everybody's in good health and ready to go.

"We've tried to keep in touch with John via texts and the boys have been shouting up at his balcony. It's difficult for him. He's going to be in that room for a wee while and we try to keep him included and we hope he can rejoin the group soon."

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