European Under-21 Qualifier

SCOTLAND v Iceland

Tuesday 13 October, 5.45pm kick-off

Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen

Lawrence Shankland has praised Scotland Under-21 manager Ricky Sbragia for giving him the freedom to enjoy his football.

The 20-year old striker – who is on loan at St Mirren from Aberdeen - was a late substitute in Saturday’s narrow 2-1 defeat to France and is eager to make amends against Iceland this evening.

The Group 3 leaders haven’t lost a game since March 2014 but Shankland believes that the current squad are capable of beating anyone:

“When your adrenaline gets going you believe you can do anything against any of the big teams. Once you’re on the park you just go for it. I’m really looking forward to the game.”

Ricky Sbragia’s team beat Northern Ireland in their first game of the European Qualifiers last month. Saturday’s loss means Scotland remain on three points, level with France and Macedonia and seven points behind Iceland who have two games in hand.

Shankland is positive that Ricky’s experience can hold the team in good stead as they attempt to reach the European Championship finals in 2017:

“He’s an experienced guy with a lot of knowledge of the game. He lets you make your own decisions and doesn’t tell you what to do, but he also offers good advice and helps you if you need it. So you’re free to enjoy your football as well as learn.”

With two goals and five starts this season, Shankland has endured a successful start to his loan spell at St Mirren. He is confident that more game time coupled with some goals can spur him onto success at both domestic and international level:

“I’m really enjoying it and it’s good to get some game time. We had a good result away to Hibernian recently so hopefully we can kick on from there.”

“The more games I play, you can only get better. You need game time to get full fitness and match sharpness so it’s great to get a few games under my belt.”