Steven Naismith: Scotland need to build confidence against Cyprus and Kazahkstan

By Keir MurrayBBC Scotland
Scotland: Steven Naismith and Erin Cuthbert praise the new national strip
Euro 2020 qualifying: Cyprus v Scotland
Venue: GSP Stadium, Stovolos Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website & app.

Scotland need their supporters to start believing in the national team again ahead of next year's Nations League play-offs, says Steven Naismith.

The final chance to qualify for Euro 2020 will come in March as Steve Clarke's men try to end the long wait to reach a major finals.

And Naismith says that makes wins over Cyprus and Kazakhstan vital.

"We've got to use these games to bring the optimistic feeling back, not only among the squad but the fans," he said.

"We need as big a crowd as we can get to support us. The play-off games are one-offs. I've been at Hampden before when it's a big crowd and that's the thing that drives the squad forward."

Scotland, who cannot qualify from Group I, face Cyprus away on 16 November then Kazakhstan at Hampden three days later.

But Naismith insists the games mean a lot to Scotland, with the next set of matches being the play-offs next year.

"It's a funny game because on paper, in terms of points and qualification, there's not much riding on it, but for us as a squad, there's a lot riding on it because it's effectively the warm-up to the main event in March," Naismith told BBC Scotland as he launched the national team's new home shirt.

"Every player is vying to make the manager's team.

"For me, I've been involved in a lot of qualification campaigns and know how tough it is to qualify. In my time in the national team, I don't think we're going to get a better opportunity and it's not for us players to show that we should be playing and getting on the pitch to get us qualified."

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