Shaun Maloney says Scotland can use memories of past disappointments to spur them onto Euro 2016 qualification.
Scotland take on Georgia in Tbilisi this Friday before flying back to meet Germany at Hampden, in a Euro Qualifier double-header that could prove crucial to our hopes of progression. The team currently sits third in Group D with 11 points from six games, three behind leaders Poland and two behind Germany.
Hull City midfielder Maloney featured in our last visit to Georgia, a 2-0 defeat in 2007, and believes the memories of that game should motivate the team to victory in Tbilisi.
Speaking to the Scottish FA, he said: “It’s a game that sticks in my memory. These are the things you try and learn from. Deep down, these are the games that are the motivation to try and qualify because of the moments that have happened previously.
“I’m looking forward to the game on Friday. I know the conditions will be warm but they’ll be the same for the opposition.”
The last game between the two sides had happier ramifications for Scotland. A 1-0 win last October gave Gordon’s team their first win of the Euro Qualification campaign, with Maloney’s deflected first-half shot proving the difference.
Scotland’s top goalscorer under Gordon Strachan is expecting another tough game against the Georgians:
“We played really well in the first half against Georgia and we should have been more than 1-0 up. For the last 15-20 minutes they came back into it and we didn’t play as well.
“Ireland scored a brilliant goal to beat them in the last minute so it’s a tough match but these are the games you have to come through if you want to qualify.”
Maloney finds himself back in British football after swapping MLS side Chicago Fire for Hull City last week and the former Celtic and Aston Villa midfielder got off to a dream start at his new club. He set up the second goal in a 2-0 win over Preston North End.
He said: “The first couple of days at training were intense with the team and again the game was pretty frantic, so I’m delighted to be back in British football. It was nice to get started with a good result.”