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Colin Hendry: Scott McTominay can make the difference for Scotland

Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry has backed Scott McTominay to provide the firepower his country appears to be lacking at Euro 2024.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke, whose side face hosts Germany in Munich on Friday in the tournament's opening game, lost QPR's Lyndon Dykes and Liverpool's uncapped Ben Doak from his provisional 28-man squad.

Southampton's Che Adams, Hearts' Lawrence Shankland and Bristol City's late call-up Tommy Conway are Scotland's out-and-out strikers and have nine international goals between them.

Hendry, who skippered Scotland at the 1998 World Cup, told the PA news agency: "I'm not saying this is going to happen, definitely not, but I wouldn't be averse to seeing Scott McTominay at some stage up alongside Che Adams.

"Adams will probably be the striker to start and McTominay will probably be in close attendance to him, trying to get goals for us.

"If anything happens, Scott McTominay playing 10-15 minutes up there as a striker - he's been a massive player for Man United this season."

McTominay ended the Euro 2024 qualifiers as the tournament's joint-fifth leading scorer with seven goals - one behind Harry Kane.

The versatile Manchester United midfielder also had a brilliant free-kick controversially ruled out by VAR in Seville against Group A rivals Spain last October.

Hendry says he cannot understand why McTominay gets targeted for criticism by a section of United fans.

"Living in Chorley, I have mates who are Man United fans and they all crow about (Bruno) Fernandes and Casemiro, but I say 'look at your academy lad, he's your saviour. He's the one who has looked after you'," Hendry said.

"He's been tried and tested and is certainly trusted in the Scotland set-up. That 'goal' in Spain alone - there's no doubt, he's a big player for us.

"And maybe that is a big plus for Steve Clarke in relation to selecting so many defenders and midfielders because maybe he has got an eye on something like playing McTominay higher up."

Hendry made 51 appearances for his country between 1993-2001 and won the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1995.

He was the bedrock for Scotland when they failed to get out of their group at both Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup and despite the lack of a proven international goalscorer in Germany, he has tipped Clarke's side to progress.

"We've got the same problem we had back in my day - we don't score enough goals - but I do think this side can do it," Hendry added.

"With the four third-best finishers qualifying for the knockout stages, we've got as good a chance now as we've ever had.

"But it's important that we don't get beat on Friday night. If we don't, we can go toe-to-toe with Switzerland and Hungary. Player for player, I think we can beat them.

"But all eyes are on the Germany game. Scotland cannot afford to give anything away at the back.

"They do at some point need to create a few chances and I think that will happen on Friday night."
 

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