‘There’s talk of 100,000 fans in Germany’: John Carver on Euros excitement

‘There’s talk of 100,000 fans in Germany’: John Carver on Euros excitement

Scotland coach John Carver says that he can sense excitement building ahead of Euro 2024 this summer – and he sees competitiveness rising in the squad ahead of the March friendlies.

The national team travel to Amsterdam to face Netherlands on Friday before a home match against Northern Ireland next Tuesday as preparations for the summer tournament continue.

And though the group stage games against hosts Germany, Switzerland and Hungary are still three months away, Carver says that he’s felt anticipation building for a long time, and that he’s been besieged by ticket requests.

The coach has already travelled to Germany to look at Scotland’s training camp and says he’s been told the authorities are expecting as many as 100,000 Scots to make the journey to support their team.

“I’ve already experienced it because all I’ve been doing is going to games for the last four months and every time I walk into a stadium whether it’s in England or Scotland to watch the players, everybody’s talking about it,” Carver said. “The fans, people in the boardrooms are talking about it, I’ve got to calm myself down sometimes when you go in there.

“There’s a huge difference from when we qualified previous time and I can sense that. It was a difficult situation with Covid because fans weren’t allowed in.

“Now everyone I’m hearing from, I’ve got so many Scottish friends wanting to go to the Euros they’re coming out of the woodwork for tickets. Everyone I speak to is going, not everyone has a ticket as we know.

“When we went across to look at the facilities they were talking of expecting around 100,000 in Germany, that’s incredible and I can’t wait to see that.”

While some fans are desperate for tickets, players are keen to make sure they have a seat on the plane, with competition for a place in Steve Clarke’s final 23-man squad hotting up.

The forthcoming friendlies will give them a chance to show what they can do and Carver, who says Clarke has a rough idea of his squad, believes there’s an opening for some to press their claims, especially with Callum McGregor, Aaron Hickey, Ryan Jack and Grant Hanley all out injured this time around.

“Everybody realises that we have three or four squad regulars who are not here,” he said. “So this is an opportunity for those guys to stake a claim and prove to the manager that they deserve to be in the squad.

“For Steve, it’s going to be extremely difficult. Obviously he’ll consult the other members of staff but he’s going to have to make that decision.

“So the more competitive these guys are, and the better they do in these games, will make his job even harder.”

The experienced coach says he sees a real “competitive edge” in training but also thinks the team has to concentrate on the immediate issue of ending a win-less run after five games, having lost to Spain, England and France before draws with Georgia and Norway in the second half of last year.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the guys,” he said. “It feels like I’ve been in hibernation for the cold winter months.

“It’s great to be back. The players have come back, reset and they’re already focused because we need to get back to winning ways, don’t we?

“We’ve had a couple of draws and some big games against big nations like France, Spain and England.

“We need to get back to winning against another Pot A side in the Netherlands so we’re looking forward to that.

“We’re trying to put the Euros on the back burner for the moment but as you can imagine there’s an awful lot of things going on that we need to look after.

“The guys have had a very good couple of days on the training ground, very enthusiastic, and you can see that there’s a competitive edge there.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News

Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code

Related Articles