Former Don Kenny McLean insists Scotland can take the game to the world’s best tonight.
The national team tackle Belgium – top of the Fifa rankings – in Brussels tonight in their fourth 2020 European Championship Group I qualifier.
The Dark Blues recorded a crucial win on Saturday, beating Cyprus 2-1 at Hampden.
Norwich midfielder McLean started that game and knows this evening’s assignment will be a whole lot tougher against world stars like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.
Roberto Martinez’s side thumped Scotland 4-0 at Hampden in a friendly in September.
But McLean, who played for Aberdeen from January 2015 until last summer, insists if the Scots can keep things tight defensively attackers like former Red Ryan Fraser, James Forrest, Callum McGregor and Oli Burke will cause problems.
The 27-year-old said: “We know it will be a tough game because their team is littered with world class players. We’ll be tough to beat and we’ll need to be because of how good they are.
“But we do have the quality at the top end of the pitch to hurt any team. We go there with confidence, we don’t go there feeling that they are so far superior to us.
“We’ll go there, enjoy it and hopefully get something.
“Cyprus made it hard for us – but we had plenty of chances in the second half to get more goals.
“When you have that quality in the final third we’re always confident we can break teams down.
“That proved to be the case in the end against Cyprus. For the second goal it was a great delivery from Ryan Fraser and Oli Burke, who came on as a sub, scored.
“That shows the quality of players we have to come on and make a difference.
“I think against Cyprus at times we were very compact and at times we could have got higher.
“I think it shows the way we’ve been working because the manager Steve Clarke has been working against the ball a lot.
“He hasn’t needed to do too much work with the ball because he knows the quality we’ve got.
“We need to be hard to beat, because if we can keep a clean sheet we’ll win games with this group of players because of the quality going forward.”
For McLean, starring against Belgium would round off a great end to the season after he helped Norwich win the English Championship and gain promotion to the Premier League.
The former St Mirren player added: “It would cap off my season because I’ve had an unbelievable season down the road with my club.
“We’ve done something pretty special so to cap it off with a good result tonight would be special.
“Then I will enjoy the rest of the summer and look forward to next season.”
Tonight is Steve Clarke’s second game as Scotland manager and McLean has enjoyed working under Alex McLeish’s replacement over the last week.
He believes the former Kilmarnock gaffer is the man to end the 21-year wait to reach a major tournament and thinks Saturday’s victory has got Scotland back in contention in Group I.
McLean said: “It’s been excellent under the manager. He gets his point across very well.
“All the boys know their jobs and what is required and everyone is pulling in the right direction, which is important for the nation.
“In the short space of time he has been working with us he’s been excellent at getting his point across.
“He’s got across the way he wants us to play and I saw enough of him at Killie to know that he gets the best out of players.
“What he did at Killie was outstanding and hopefully he can take the nation forward and I think he’s the man to do so.
“We’re delighted with the result against Cyprus and I felt the performance was decent enough.
“I think the good thing is we’re only going to get better under the current manager.
“We’ve only been working together a week and I think people can see with the way we play we’ll be hard to beat.
“And then going forward I think we’ve got the quality to hurt any team so it’s exciting times ahead.
“The result was 100% the most important thing against Cyprus because the pressure was on us.
“But we delivered and I think it puts us back in contention in the group going into this game.”