Skipper Andy Robertson insists Scotland must control their emotions in the nation’s biggest game in 23 years.
Liverpool full-back Robertson can feel anticipation building ahead of Scotland’s Euro 2020 opener against Czech Republic on Monday.
That the game is at Hampden only heightens the expectation of the Tartan Army.
Add in England at Wembley and beaten World Cup 2018 finalists Croatia and Euro 2020 fever has gripped the nation.
Robertson insists Euro 2020 fever cannot grip the 26 man squad.
Having won a Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup with Liverpool Robertson knows how vital it is to keep calm heads.
He said: “The reality is kicking in for everyone – it’s here, it’s now.
“It’s an exciting time and that will just heighten and get stronger and stronger as the days go on.
“Everything is working towards that big game against Czech Republic on the 14th and we’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
“The closer you get to that first game it’s exciting for us, but we need to control that for the tournament and put up a good fight, which I believe we will.
“The lads are looking well, confident and sharp and we need to take that into the games.”
Robertson is set to become only the 10th Scot to lead the country out at a major finals, the first since Colin Hendry at the 1998 World Cup finals.
The others are Gary McAllister (Euro 96), Richard Gough (Euro 92), Roy Aitken (1990 World Cup), Graeme Souness (86 and 82 World Cup), Bruce Rioch (78 World Cup), Billy Bremner (74 World Cup), Tommy Younger (58 World Cup) and Willie Cunningham (54 World Cup).
Robertson will earn his 45th cap at Hampden on Monday in the latest step in a remarkable career that has taken him from the Scottish lower leagues with Queen’s Park to the elite club level with Liverpool.
He insists the honour of captaining his country at a major tournament is intensified even further because he knows the quality and potential of the team he will lead out at the national stadium.
He said: “For me, it’s a massive honour being captain of this country.
“However it’s an even bigger honour because I know how good these boys are, off the pitch and on the pitch – good players and good people as well.
“Going in front of them and leading them out is huge.
“The closer it gets, the more I’ll think about it but, being captain in any game, is a huge honour for me.”
Scotland boss Steve Clarke allowed the players two days off to spent time with their families following the recent training camp in Spain which included friendlies against Netherlands (2-2) and Luxemborg (1-0 win),
The players were all told to stay at home with their families before returning to Scotland’s Euro 2020 Covid-19 bubble on Wednesday night.
The squad are based at Rockcliffe hotel near Darlington and will use Middlesbrough FC’s training facilities for the duration of the Group D matches.
Scotland concluded their pre-tournament friendlies with a 1-0 defeat of Luxembourg having drawn 2-2 with Netherlands, one of the Euro 2020 favourites.
The only setback for the Scots has been John Fleck testing positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the Netherlands game.
Fleck went into self-isolation and six players were left out of the squad that flew to Portugal for the friendly as a precautionary measure.
Midfielder Fleck is set to rejoin the squad on Friday although that can happen sooner if he returns two negative Covid-19 tests.
Robertson insists the positive training camp has left the Scots in a positive place ahead of Euro 2020.
He said: “Some players hadn’t played in four weeks, some hadn’t played for two weeks.
“The Premier League players had not played for only a week, so we were all at different stages.
“It was important to get games together to work at what we’re going to do as we get closer to the game against the Czech Republic.”