Sheffield United's John Fleck and his Scotland team mates are inspired by support north of the border

John Carver, the former Sheffield United assistant manager and now Scotland’s number two, has insisted John Fleck and other members of Steve Clarke’s squad have no intention of simply making up the numbers at Euro 2020 as they prepare to make their long-awaited return to the tournament.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 11:00 am

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s group game against the Czech Republic, Carver admitted that experiencing the sense of anticipation north of the border has focused minds among both the players and coaching staff alike.

Fleck and his United team mate Oli McBurnie, who was ruled-out of the competition through injury, were both members of the side which helped Scotland qualify for their first European Championships since 1996.

“When you look around the place and you see Euro 2020 on the side of the coaches, and as you arrive at the hotel there’s a big flag there, you know you’re ready,” said Carver, who also enjoyed a spell in caretaker charge of United following the late Gary Speed’s departure in 2010. “We had a fantastic opening game and it’s something I’m proud of and looking forward to.”

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DARLINGTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: John Fleck (L) and Ryan Christie during a Scotland training session at Rockliffe Park, on June 11, 2021, in Darlington, England. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

After testing positive for Covid-19 during a recent training camp in Spain, and subsequently being forced to isolate in his room, the meeting with the Czech’s is expected to come too soon for Fleck - with Clarke suggesting, but not confirming, he will keep the midfielder under wraps until Friday’s clash with England. That fixture, which takes place at Wembley, is sandwiched in between two outings at Hampden Park, with Scotland also set to face Croatia in Glasgow.

“We’ve got to start as well as we can, we’re not just here to make up the numbers, we want to leave our mark on the tournament,” centre-half Scott McKenna said. “You can sense the expectation, especially on social media. You can see what it means and everyone is getting behind us.

“Everyone is trying to get hold of strips or anything with ‘Scotland’ on it. It’s brilliant and we are really feeling that in the camp. It’s a real ‘club’ feel and I think that’s brilliant, so we can’t wait to get started.”