Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker is braced for a clash of the Celts
10:39 12 November 2014
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Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker insists Scotland’s clash against the Republic of Ireland on Friday will not decide the outcome of their daunting Euro 2016 group.
World champions Germany and Poland are also in one of the tougher qualifying pools but Whittaker admits it is vital Gordon Strachan’s squad do not lose any ground to the Irish, with the Scots three points adrift after the opening three matches.
“It’s not going to stop you getting to where you want to go if you don’t get the result,” he said. “It’s massive and we want a positive outcome in the end.
“We don’t tend to concentrate too much on the opposition, the manager’s got us thinking about what we’re doing and how we’re going to create danger for the opposition. It’s a home game, so we’re looking to be the more positive side. We’re fairly-evenly matched at the moment, they’re ahead of us but they’ve probably had slightly easier fixtures. It’s a big game and the result is going to be massive, but we feel with us at home with our crowd we’re very positive going into the game.”
Three of Whittaker’s club mates are in action on Wednesday at the start of a hectic few days for City’s international contingent.
Alex Tettey is part of the Norway squad who host Estonia in a friendly ahead of this weekend’s Euro2016 qualifier against Azerbaijan. The Norwegians are three points adrift of Croatia in group H after wins last month over Bulgaria and Malta.
Jamar Loza is part of the Jamaican squad contesting the Caribbean Cup regional tournament. The hosts have been drawn in group B and begin their quest this evening against Martinique before playing Anitgua and Barbuda on Friday and finishing their pool fixtures against Haiti on Sunday. The winner of the tournament earns an automatic berth to the Copa Centennial Cup to be played in the USA in 2016 and a place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer.
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have already been invited to compete in the Copa America next year in Chile.
Josh Murphy is also on duty for England’s Under-20s as part of Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions squad, who take on their Canadian counterparts in a friendly at Bournemouth.
Murphy was forced to pull out of a four-nations tournament last month to rest a heel injury suffered in the Capital One Cup defeat at Shrewsbury. Twin, Jacob, was called up in his absence.