Scotland boss Alex McLeish wants to guide Scots to dream double

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I made Scotland debut in midfield - McLeish
Euro 2020 qualifying: Kazakhstan v Scotland
Venue: Astana Arena Date: Thursday, 21 March Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website; watch highlights on BBC Scotland

Scotland boss Alex McLeish says it would be the "greatest thrill" of his career to stay and guide his country to Euro 2020 and the World Cup in Qatar.

McLeish's side already have a Nations League play-off in the bank while they kick off their European qualifying campaign in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Scotland's last major tournament was the World Cup in 1998.

"That would be some celebration," McLeish, whose current deal runs out in 2020, told BBC Scotland.

"It's in the DNA. We can definitely believe and it would be the greatest thrill of my career if it can culminate in two major championships."

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Scotland boss Alex McLeish wants to guide Scots to dream double

'If we get a result it changes everything'

McLeish believes success with this current group of Scotland players can be the catalyst for future success and regular participation on the big stage.

The Scots have been absent from the past 10 tournaments, with current captain Andy Robertson only four years old at the time of Scotland's last appearance.

"I don't think there's just one reason," said McLeish for Scotland's downturn in fortunes.

"We brought in a lot of foreign players we could get for nothing, albeit wages went up a bit. Street football went out of the window.

"Is there enough enthusiasm for the growing kids to play football again? We would like to inspire them with the current Scotland squad. If we can get results, I'm sure it changes everything."

Scotland are potentially just two matches away from next year's Euro finals thanks to topping their Nations League group back in November.

However, McLeish is keen to look at that as an insurance policy, rather than the priority as the conventional campaign starts on Thursday before heading to San Marino on Sunday.

"Some great players missed out [on tournaments]," added the Scotland manager.

"But let's concentrate on getting through this group stage and not even needing a play-off to get to the finals. A lot of these guys have a lot to offer."

'Two away games we need to win' - analysis

BBC Scotland pundit & former Scotland midfielder Michael Stewart

If we don't get six points from these two games it just feeds into the whole narrative of, 'here we go again, we're just playing catch-up'.

Yes, it's two away games but it's these away games we need to be picking up three points in if we have serious aspirations of qualifying out of this group.

It's so important to get off to a good start for a psychological boost. If we don't get six points out of these two games, it will just bubble under the surface.

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