Scotland v Ukraine: Hosts must 'separate' sympathy from World Cup dream, says Robertson

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Scotland sports news correspondent
'Scotland have helped Ukraine in every way possible'
World Cup play-off semi-final: Scotland v Ukraine
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Wednesday, 1 June Time: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen to live commentary on Sportsound and follow live text updates on the BBC Sport website & app

Scotland must detach their sympathy for Ukraine from their own desire of getting to a World Cup finals, says captain Andy Robertson.

The two nations meet in their delayed play-off semi-final at Hampden on Wednesday, with the winners facing Wales in the final four days later.

The original tie was postponed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"When you watch it, it's horrendous. You can't avoid it, but we need to try and separate that," Robertson said.

"We'll be so receptive of Ukraine before and after the game but during that 90 minutes, that 120 minutes, or whatever it takes, we have to be ready to fight for our dreams as well.

"We'll make sure that that's the message. I can't imagine what they are going through, but we have to be ready to battle. As players, we want to go to a World Cup."

Speaking to BBC Scotland in the build-up to Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid, the Liverpool left-back revealed he has spoken to his Ukraine counterpart - Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Robertson said he offered any support and help that the Scots could give after the invasion caused the semi-final to be originally postponed in March.

Steve Clarke's side featured at the delayed Euro 2020 and reached the World Cup play-offs by finishing second in their qualification group but the captain realises many will not want to see Scotland succeed this time.

"Probably everyone in the world wants Ukraine to win," he said. "If it was any other country, I would probably want them to win but unfortunately they're playing against my country and we have to stand in their way.

"We know they'll be up for it and we have to be ready for that challenge. They'll be full of emotion and it's important we deal with the occasion well and that our fans make an atmosphere that is supportive and as loud as Hampden's been.

"If we do that, it gives us the best possible chance to try and achieve our dream."

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