Robert Snodgrass - Beat England and Scotland can qualify for the World Cup

Robert Snodgrass


West Ham United winger Robert Snodgrass is out to make himself an unpopular figure among the Claret and Blue Army this weekend.

The Hammers wideman is set to start for his country when Scotland host England in a vital 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park on Saturday evening.

The Scots need to win the Group F tie to give themselves any real hope of reaching Russia and, despite having beaten England just once in their last ten meetings with the Auld Enemy dating back to 1985, Snodgrass insists the Tartan Army will rise to the challenge.

We want to get there automatically, we want to beat England and kick on

Robert Snodgrass

“I have never ever had that sort of feeling [of inferiority] since I went down to England,” the No11 told The Scottish Sun. “I have always had that drive inside my stomach, that burning feeling to get the success you want to achieve as an individual, and to keep hitting targets.

“I want to keep driving forward, and I have never had the feeling of being feart of this player or that player. I look forward to it more than anything.”

“You can sit and say ‘That’s Scottish fitba’, if we go and beat them. So there is that to consider, but there are loads of different things about this match.

“On the day, it will be about which team wants it the most. It will be about which team has that desire to get on the ball and make things happen."

England won the reverse fixture at Wembley 3-0 before Christmas, with Snodgrass missing the Scots’ best chance of the game with his side just a single goal down.

While that result might have been a big blow to Scotland’s hopes of reaching a first World Cup since 1998, they go into Saturday’s mouth-watering Glasgow showdown on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Slovenia in their last qualifier.

The Hammers star has challenged his compatriots to repeat that performance and result when they take on Aaron Cresswell and company in his home city.


Robert Snodgrass


“We all knew after the last game against Slovenia that was more like the Scotland we all want to see,” he confirmed. “There was no fear and there is nothing to be scared of on Saturday.

“We have good players playing at a good level, so let’s go out and express ourselves.”

Victory over their neighbours would close Scotland’s deficit to England to just three points, with four qualification matches still to play.

While it looked very unlikely a few months ago, Snodgrass insists a win this weekend would give Gordon Strachan’s side a real chance of overhauling England and topping the group.

“It would give everyone the belief again that we are serious contenders,” said the midfielder, who scored a hat-trick in a win over Malta earlier in the current qualification campaign. “We need to focus on group position, and we need to get the win for that reason. It is all about qualifying.

“That was our objective at the start. It wasn’t to just fight for second place.

“You saw against England we had a lot of chances, and if we didn’t believe we would never have got those chances.

“We have always believed that we could go for automatic qualification in this group. But when you take hits and have to take a step back, you then need to try and take two forward.

“We want to get there automatically, we want to beat England and kick on.”