Gothenburg Great Alex McLeish has urged Scotland boss Steve Clarke to finish the job he started by securing Euro 2020 qualification.
Clarke’s Scots will face Serbia in the Euro 2020 play-off final in Belgrade tomorrow.
Victory for Scotland would end a 23-year major tournament drought dating back to the 1998 World Cup.
Under McLeish’s management, Scotland won their Nations League group with a 3-2 defeat of Israel at Hampden on November 20 2018 to reach the play-offs.
Securing that play-off route proved vital, as Scotland suffered a disastrous campaign in the traditional Euro 2020 qualifying route for which McLeish was axed.
Now he wants his replacement to complete the task by seeing off Serbia.
McLeish said: “The thing that mattered the most was that we absolutely nailed the little group stage in the Nations League – and we did it.
“Hopefully the boys can take Scotland through to the Euro finals.
“The thrill of the way the game went against Israel at Hampden was tremendous – it was such a brilliant game.
It was really open, maybe too open at times for my liking, but we played a really good attacking game that night and James Forrest scored that hat-trick.
“We introduced a few new young players to the team like Scott McTominay and they are all growing in stature now, playing for their clubs at a high level.
“So, there’s been decent progress and if I had to make a sacrifice of me losing the job to make us better then so be it. I played a part.”
McLeish believes Scotland can overcome Serbia, but the key is keeping Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic quiet in Belgrade.
Serbia head coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic faced concerns over the availability of four Serie A-based players due to confusion over new lockdown measures in Italy.
However, Tumbakovic confirmed Milinkovic-Savic and captain Aleksandar Kolarov of Inter Milan were already in their training camp.
McLeish said “It will be a very tough game. Serbia are a very confident bunch and have been bumping their gums about it since the draw was made.
“I had one of their top players, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, at Genk (as manager) and he’s a player Stevie’s got to make sure they put the shackles on.
“Also big Mitrovic of Fulham has a goal-scoring record at international level.
“But Stevie’s got the team in a great winning streak and they have defended really well.
“He’s made us hard to beat. Scotland proved themselves against a top team like Czech Republic by beating them.”
Scotland last played Serbia in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.
The game at Hampden ended in a goalless draw, but Serbia triumphed 2-0 in Novi Sad with Filip Djuricic scoring a brace.
Aberdeen legend McLeish, 61, said: “Scotland will go against Serbia with a great run of results behind them and real confidence.
“There’s no reason why we can’t win the play-off final in Serbia.”