Russell Martin insists Scotland intent on kicking off World Cup preparations with Czech bounce



RUSSELL Martin is convinced Scotland will kick-off preparations for next season’s World Cup qualifying campaign on a positive note in Prague.

Gordon Strachan has picked two different squads for tomorrow’s friendly against the Czech Republic and Tuesday’s encounter with Denmark as he assesses his options.

Martin is part of the set-up for the first match, with Strachan having tinkered more for next week’s date with the Danes at Hampden.


And the Norwich City captain, who will earn his 23rd cap if he faces the Czechs, insists the Scots are desperate to go into the start to the qualifiers in September on a high.

The 30-year-old said: “It’s a clean slate, it’s a fresh start, and it’s all about building up for this year’s campaign.

“It’s a tough start for us. They’ll be a decent team and the lads are looking forward to it.

“But, with new faces in the squad, I’m sure the manager will want to make sure that everyone knows how we want to play and to get back to playing the way he wants us to play.

“It’s important to get off to a good start together again and I’m sure we will.”

The squad have not gathered since the 6-0 win away to Gibraltar in October brought the curtain down on a bitterly disappointing Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

And Martin, whose Norwich side are currently engaged in a desperate relegation battle in the English Premier League, hopes the get-together can also be of benefit at club level.

He added in an interview on “It’s good to be back. It’s strange now, the internationals, with the way it’s set up for games, because you’re together a lot at the start of the season, every month, and then you go away and you have quite a while apart.

“I think it depends what you’re going through at your club, but it’s always good to come away, if I’m being honest, and most of the lads will tell you the same.

“It’s good to get a fresh change of scenery and then go back to your club reinvigorated, if you like. It’s good to be up here.”