Norwich City’s Celts prepare to fight for Euro 2016 bragging rights

Steven Whittaker on Scotland duty, as he does battle with the Republic of Ireland's James McClean du

Steven Whittaker on Scotland duty, as he does battle with the Republic of Ireland's James McClean during their Euro 2016 qualifier at Celtic Park. - Credit: PA

Scottish international Steven Whittaker aims to return from Euro 2016 duty with the bragging rights in the Norwich City dressing room.

Whittaker and Russell Martin are locked in direct combat with Republic of Ireland club-mates Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady ahead of the final two matches in Group D as the rivals compete for a play-off place.

Poland and world champions Germany look poised to qualify automatically for the finals in France next summer, with the Irish currently in third, four points clear of the Scots.

'There has been a bit of banter flying back and forwards so we'll see who gets the last laugh after these two fixtures,' said Whittaker. 'All through the campaign we have been in the top three positions so we have let it slip with the result in Georgia and not getting anything from Germany, but we still have two big games coming up and if we can beat Poland at home then we have Gibraltar away. If we can get six points out of that then we can push up into third and maybe even second if results go our way. There is still a lot of mileage in this group.'

Whittaker knows the Scots have to take care of their own business and rely on the Republic struggling against the group's big-hitters.

'The Irish have Germany at home and Poland away, which are two tough games, but we can only focus on ourselves and picking up six points,' he said. 'We have conceded the initiative a bit to the Republic if you look at the simple fact we are now sitting fourth in the group. We felt we deserved something from the Germany game, but we tend to do that in Scotland, in terms of playing well against the bigger teams and coming up that little bit short. We did it in Germany as well, when we got beat 2-1 in the first game, but gave a good account of ourselves.'